CINCINNATI— Dr. Rudnick, the Artistic Director of a performing arts
school in Cincinnati, attended the Divine Performing Arts show in Cincinnati on Dec. 23, and was effusive in his praise:
“It’s a beautiful show. Beautiful. It’s marvelous combination of dance, drama, music, beautiful scenes, costumes. Exceptionally well done.”
Dr. Rudnick is a nationally recognized music educator, conductor, composer and performer. He brought a lot of his students to see the show and was “very, very glad” that he did.
“This is a wonderful introduction to Americans on Chinese culture, tradition, stories, mythology. I think that seeing the show we all come away with such a greater appreciation for traditional Chinese culture, in music, and songs, and all the artists, from the choreographer, the singers, the dancers…. [It is] really performed on a really high level.”
Beauty in simplicity
“It kind of gets me in touch with some more traditional roots. I am a composer and musician. I love the sound of those Chinese folk melodies. I’m thinking about maybe even working on a piece, using some of that Chinese folk melodies based on pentatonic scales, beautiful simple scales but with a lot of emotional power. There’s a simplicity of getting back to this idea of simplicity and elegance that’s present in this marvelous performance that can inspire professional artists like myself. Sometimes in working with a lot of the modern groups, it tends to be very complicated. Things get very complicated. We have fancy instruments and complicated electronics and things like that. But it’s great to go back to simple kinds of ideas and simple forms like Chinese folk melodies. Beautiful! Beautiful! They give us new ideas and new ways of thinking of things.”
Dr. Rudnick said the orchestral music fascinating: “Combining the western instruments, and some western harmony, with Chinese folk melodies, and with the pipa and the erhu. A gorgeous, gorgeous combination. In fact, I must say that I was surprised how beautifully it fit all together. It made perfect sense, beautifully, beautifully together.”
“The show’s message is incredibly powerful. We were just commenting with friends of mine here that it’s a message of hope and peace. Heaven knows that we need it in the world today. In fact we all came out of the performance just almost feeling like we were soothed. It was very soothing, very reassuring, soothing.”
“A wonderfully positive message. A message that we don’t often get in America, at least when we come to these cultural events. It’s all about a specific event, a specific composer, and a specific performance. This had an even greater message, a universal message of peace, brotherhood, harmony, and that only added to the beautiful elegance of the entire evening.
“I just think it’s a marvelous performance and a marvelous production.”
“Everything was beautifully performed. Very well timed. Beautiful movement from the dancers. Everything was very very well done. Perfectly in sync. The musicians played beautifully. Just a wonderful collaboration of bringing so many different art forms together. That’s what I like most about the show. It brings so many wonderful traditional Chinese art forms together, but kind of puts in in a package that an American audience can really appreciate.”
“There is an inner kind of philosophy that comes out in these dance moves and in the choreography. It’s really really wonderful. I personally appreciate it. And there really is an inner story in the outer movements.”
Beautiful costumes and backgrounds
“Beautiful! Beautiful! I really appreciate it! The silk costumes. I appreciate it. The way the costumes were put together. Just very elegant, very beautiful, in a way that did not inhibit the movement of the dancers and the singers.”
“Beautiful images projected onto the stage but in a large format, larger than I’ve seen with a lot of productions. In fact I’m going to take some wonderful examples that I’ve seen here tonight and bring it back to my art school.”
Spectacular communication and collaboration
“This was such a great opportunity for American audiences and modern performers, modern dancers. They look at this, and they can get some wonderful ideas: ‘Wow! There is a traditional Chinese culture of dance and song here, especially when blended with a few western elements, that can give us a whole new idea of pursuing some kind of cultural collaboration.'”
“I think one of the fascinating things about our age is that there’s communication. We get this opportunity to see these wonderful traditional Chinese elements, and to combine them with some of the western elements. And because there’s such a communication in borrowing and lending of ideas now, it really is a spectacular way to bring some of the fantastic elements of Chinese culture into American society. And if you saw the audience members here this evening, you saw that most of them were not of Chinese background.
“It is marvelous to see an event in Music Hall with so many young people who came to see this performance and were just fascinated. They were enthralled.”
“As an artistic director, I feel that cultural opportunities especially for our young people, cultural opportunities that are appropriate in educational, in inspiring and motivating young people. It’s so important to have that. The ability to get an insight and to see another culture, and to get kind of a quick 5000-year history of Chinese culture in a beautiful presentation like this is phenomenal. It’s absolutely phenomenal. We need more of this.”