By James Fish and Ben Yang, Epoch Times Staff, Dec 26, 2008 –
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Annuities consultant Mr. Kozack came to the Divine Performing Arts show at Jacksonville’s Times-Union Performing Arts Center at the urging of his friend Ms. Owens. He had no idea what to expect, but he was extremely glad he came.
“I thought it was fantastic—the whole collaboration of the opera-style singing coupled with the different dance routines. I like the way it took you through early times to more modern—it was a good progression and flow.”
Mr. Kozack also praised the master and mistress of ceremonies, Leshai Lemish and Mei Zhou. “The narrators were very good. They were formal yet casual as well; they could make you laugh a few times.”
“I thought overall it was fantastic. The drums were awesome—very lively,” he said of “Drummers of the Tang Court.” Ms. Owen said, “He would have liked more Chinese lessons.”
“Yes, that was nice—being able to walk away with a little Chinese vocabulary,” Mr. Kozack said, laughing. I’ve already said ‘Ni Hao‘ (“Hello”) a couple of times. I will probably say it at the office on Monday.”
“It was really professional. You can tell that this is a top-of-the-line production.” Mr. Kozack said he could appreciate the degree of physical mastery needed to perform the moves the dancers made. He was also interested to learn that traditional Chinese dance predated all the Western classical dance styles.
“The beauty of Chinese culture is that it has such depth to it,” he said.
Mark Samon, a landscape and wedding photographer, said that has had a long-term interest in Chinese culture, having studied the language in college. However, he had never seen anything like the Divine Performing Arts show.
His favorite performance was “Welcoming Spring,” but he also liked the drumming, “for the rhythm and the story that it told.”
He was impressed by the computer-generated interactive backdrop as well. “The backdrop adds meaning to the story,” he said. “Without the backdrop, we’d really be lost with everything they were doing. So the backdrop was a very important part of the whole dance performance.”
“I’ve always been fascinated with Chinese arts—every move, everything tells a story. Here it gives more of an in-depth meaning of where different things come from, like writing and the importance of the [udumbara] flower.”
Divine Performing Arts (DPA), with three touring dance companies, also has shows running in San Diego, Calif., through Dec. 28, with additional shows scheduled this month for Chicago; Durham, North Carolina; Los Angeles; and Detroit.
The DPA’s World Tour concludes in April with shows in Edmonton, Canada.
For more information, see Divineperformingarts.org.