On February 6th, 2009, Divine Performing Arts (DPA) New York Company staged its first show at the Touhill Performing Arts Centre in St. Louis, Missouri. A well-known professional musician brought his family to see the show after hearing that a live orchestra would accompany the dancing on stage.
Mr. Rugo, a musician specialising in West African hand drumming, was impressed with what he heard.
|Mr. and Mrs. Rugo and their daughter Lily|
Speaking of the orchestra, Mr. Rugo said, "Oh, it's very high quality. The composition and the performance is all very impressive, and we enjoy very much the traditional music and the modern treatment of it."
"That was one of the main reasons why we came to the show. We love dance, but we especially like dance with a live band playing for them."
The DPA orchestra combines traditional Western and Chinese instruments to provide beautiful accompanying music for the classical Chinese dance on stage.
"It was wonderful, very, very good," he said.
"[I] loved the combination of European and Chinese traditional instruments together. And it's especially important for my daughter."
Mr. Rugo's daughter, Lily, she was born in China and came to the US as a baby.
"We're always interested in cultural events where she can see traditional Chinese arts," he said.
Lily said she enjoyed the show immensely. "I liked it a lot, it's really good ... I liked the choreography, and the dancing, and the costumes, those were really good."
Lily said her favourite dance was The Monkey King Triumphs which she found amusing and easy to understand.
This piece is based on a scene from the famous 16th-century classic novel Journey to the West, an epic novel about a monk's pilgrimage to India to retrieve sacred Buddhist scriptures.
In addition to the live orchestra, DPA features vocal and instrumental solos. Mr. Rugo said he appreciated the musicianship of the DPA artists.
"They are very, very good, top quality professionals. It was very good. I enjoyed it very much."
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