The Divine Performing Arts Company on Tour arrived in Geneva, Switzerland on March 3, 2008 at the invitation of 12 financial and international organizations, and put on its first performance on the sixth leg of its European tour to the delight of Swiss socialites. The two-plus-hour show at Theatre du Leman won thunderous applause from an audience consisting largely of people from the fields of politics, business, finance, and art in Geneva, and the performers had to answer the curtain call twice at the end the show.
Geneva, a city with a population of 180,000, is home to more than 190 international organizations, including the United Nations European headquarters, the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Vice Governor of the State of Geneva, Switzerland: This was a very beautiful show. It was soothing and relaxing
Mr. David Hiler, vice governor of the state of Geneva and financial minister, said after the show, "This was a very beautiful show. It was soothing and relaxing. The music was excellent. And the combination of Eastern and Western music was just amazing. It sounded so pleasant. The dances were perfect, and their movements were so elegant. It was really a feast for the eyes."
Mr. Hiler saw the uniqueness of the show. "I found something very interesting about this show," he said. "Every piece in it had a common theme: the inner meaning of the Chinese culture. It also included the characteristics of other nations, a traditional sense of beauty, and truthfulness, compassion and forbearance."
Mr. Hiler, who once taught history, was once a member of the parliament in Geneva and a member of the Swiss Green Party. As a high ranking official in a city known as the "capital of human rights," Mr. Hiler has been following human rights issues in the present world.
He said he knew very well about the persecution of Falun Gong depicted in dance "The Risen Lotus Flower." "I know this practice. Some of my friends in Geneva practice cultivation based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and one of them gave me acupuncture treatments. So I know them. For me, there was nothing surprising about it," he said.
His face lit up when he was asked which numbers he liked the most. "I loved the two drumming dances ('Drummers of the Tang Court' and 'Victory Drums'), and I loved 'Mongolian Cups.' Their movements and postures were so graceful. What was most amazing was that they were so masterful in their postures and movements, and their coordination was just perfect. Of course, these are the virtues on which Chinese have always prided themselves. "
Paraguay ambassador to Geneva: A feast of Chinese culture
|Mr. Gaoto, Paraguay ambassador to Switzerland, and his wife loved the show by Divine Performing Arts|
Paraguay's ambassador to Geneva Mr. Gaoto and his wife watched the first show by Divine Performing Arts and could not get enough of it.
Mr. Gaoto said, "The show was fantastic! It exemplified the Chinese culture, music, and dance. It was a feast. " He said he loved the songs, too, and the music and the scenes on stage were perfectly matched. "The colors, the taste--everything was so perfect. They were all enchanting. We loved it. For us, [Chinese culture] is a very useful, very good culture. The French-speaking hostess did an excellent job, and I could imagine that the host spoke perfect Chinese. I guess that Swiss people are very interested in Chinese culture and they will be very interested in this show."
Like her husband, Mrs. Gaoto was fascinated by the show, too. "It was wonderful! The costumes and the dancing were marvelous. I was especially impressed with the dance with long sleeves in it ('Water Sleeves'). They were real sleeves!" she exclaimed.
The ambassador added, "For me, I liked the singers the most, especially the second female singer (Yang Jiansheng, contra-alto). I loved her song! Of course, the other pieces were wonderful, too."
Former Minister of the State of Geneva: Thank God for the arrangement!
|Former Minister of Public Engineering and State Land (right) and performing artist Cheng'en from the Divine Performing Arts (left)|
The former minister of public engineering and state land in the State of Geneva is a politician with musical talent, loves western classical piano music and is good at playing piano concertos. He paid such attention to the show that he wrote down how he felt at the side of each item on the program. The following are his comments on each of the performances.
1. The amazing form and bearing of the performers
"I was most impressed with the dance 'Nymphs of the Sea'. 'Water Sleeves' was wonderful, too. I was amazed by the performers' bearing and form. In the flowing dance 'Water Sleeves', the three basic elements--form, bearing, and technique--were all fully reflected. They were simply beautiful."
2. Only the best French ballet dancer can perform the movements in "Herding on the Mongolian Plains"
"'Herding on the Mongolian Plains' was typical of Chinese style, with very delicate depiction. The boys riding horses kept jumping, their legs crisscrossing. I could see that they had superb control over their bodies, each one of them. Very professional! And the coordination of the whole group was incredibly harmonious. "
"The way the boys were bending backward until their bodies touched the floor was a reminder of Bejart (the French modern dancer and choreographer). This is a very high level technique."
3. The exquisite costumes
"Fans in 'Lightness and Grace' were flowing and elegant. The white skirts inside gave a sense of lightness and translucence, an effect the designers had wanted. Instead of a straight cut, they were tightened at waist and end, revealing a unique beauty."
4. The entertaining "Lady of the Moon"
"The story in 'Lady of the Moon' was excellent and entertaining indeed."
5. The impeccable "Forsythia in Spring"
"'Forsythia in Spring' was characteristically Asian in style. The use of handkerchiefs was very Chinese and the music was so accommodating. I was totally lost in bliss and amazement. It was well worth it to come to the show tonight."
"Victory Drums" was so impressive and amazing, too. I enjoyed every minute of it.
6. Shared lead role
"I also noticed that, within the Divine Performing Arts team, the notion of a single star performer is not as conspicuous as it is in European classical ballet. There were quite a few roles in the performance by Divine Performing Arts that were divided and shared by the performers, and this is most remarkable."
7. The Erhu--an instrument that's capable of subtle expression
"The Erhu music was so beautiful, and the lady who played it did it with such delicacy and subtlety. Unlike European classical music, Chinese music tends to use falling tune more, including 1/4 and 1/8 notes. The delicacy was unheard of, and yet it was expressed in such a simple way--only on two strings. "
8. The steps in Chinese classical dance shed light on Chinese ladies
"In classical ballet dancing, performers walk and jump on the tips of the toe. It is an excruciating ordeal for the body. And yet the girls in Chinese dances walk swiftly on the whole sole, with both the tip and heel touching the ground. Europeans say that Chinese ladies all have their feet bound, and now you have put Chinese women in a new light. "
9. Appreciation to God for the arrangement
"I was busy making notes during the first half of the show, ready to give you some suggestions. But when I finished seeing the second half I knew everything. So I threw out all the notes I made and understood that Falun Gong is very good, very peaceful and powerful! I was able to see your show today because of God's arrangement. I hope you will continue on this path."
There was no way for this tall, former high ranking official to hide his excitement. He poured out how he felt about the show, and left the program with his comments with an Epoch Times reporter, because all his questions had been answered. At the party after the show, he was generous with praises for the young performers of the Divine Performing Arts. He went from one to another, talking with them and imitating their dancing steps in "Herding on the Mongolian Plains", a look of excitement and a broad smile on his face.
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