By Helena Zhu, Epoch Times Staff, Aug 26, 2008-
NEW YORK—On August 24th, judges for the Second Annual International Chinese Classical Dance Competition offered a new definition for classical Chinese dance, as exemplary performances from the competitors raised the bar for next year’s competition.
“This competition is leading the direction of the world’s dance trend,” said Judge Vina Lee. “People nowadays use arts as a way to pour out emotions, while people of the past used arts as a way to worship and honor the gods.”
The 30 finalist dances in the last round were all elite classic Chinese dancers from across the globe. Each one of them portrayed a wide range of historical figures from rich Chinese history.
“One big difference between this and last year’s competition is that the contestants improved dramatically overall,” said Judge Xiu Guo. “Their dance fundamentals have improved a lot, from which they can manifest the inner meanings of classic Chinese dance even better.”
Judges are satisfied with the effect of the competition in promoting authentic classic Chinese Dance to the world. The dancers of this year have a better understanding of classic Chinese dance, as they gradually realize that Chinese dance is used to convey inner feeling and meaning using techniques, instead of just presenting the techniques themselves.
“Classic Chinese dance is called ‘classic’ for a reason,” said Xiu Guo. “It is in fact inherited from ancient history. We have been constantly explicating our understanding [on classic Chinese dance], and as to whether it is the same as Chinese opera or martial arts. Everyone seems to have distinct concepts, so it is our mission to show the true and pure classic Chinese dance to the world.”
The criteria for judging are focused on the uses of authentic Chinese classical dance movements as the dancers were able to portray characters in their one minute individual routine. Characteristics of classic Chinese dance such as bearing and form were especially emphasized.
“We are happy to see that the contesters are trying to convey the inner feeling of the characters and not using the dance vocabulary randomly,” said Xiu Guo. “It allows the audiences to have a more vivid image of classic Chinese dance. It is different from modern dance and Ballet, for their concepts, forms, and inner connotations are all different.”