KITCHENER-WATERLOO, Ontario – Ms. Kidd and Mr. McLelland, both professional musicians, got a taste of a vastly different musical tradition on Wednesday when Divine Performing Arts took to the stage at Centre in the Square Theatre.
“[The music] was exotic, beautiful… a lot of the sounds are very different from what we’re used to listening to, especially the instruments. It takes you into another place,” said Ms. Kidd, a former adjudicator and music education teacher.
Mr. McLelland, a professional musician who has just released a new CD, said he appreciated the subtle spirituality of traditional Chinese music.
“There’s a lot less tension in the music and it’s very peaceful to listen to, and that’s a nice reflection of the spirituality in the culture… North American culture is very busy and this is calming. I think this would be good for North Americans to experience this and just become calmer,” he said.
Ms. Kidd was touched by the spirituality not only in the music, but through the dance sequences and expressions of the performers.
“There’s a wonderful inner control when you see the movement and you see what they’re trying to portray up there on the stage… it’s so beautiful and athletic and graceful all rolled into one. I would say that it’s very unusual for North Americans to see a show that’s so intimate. It’s intimate and spiritual and I think that it’s very good. I think it’s just what people need to see right now in the way that our lives are going… it’s beautiful and peaceful and calming.”
Ms. Kidd has taught students and teachers for almost 20 years and conducted a number of large choirs. She recently received an award for her mentoring work. She also helped develop and implement music curriculum for a major school board.
Mr. McLelland expressed his belief that North Americans will benefit from watching the Divine Performing Arts by experiencing a deep insight into another culture and becoming more informed about current events in other countries.
“I think that the part of the show that talks about the oppression and persecution—that’s an age old story of mankind and the persecution under the current Chinese autocracy is something that the world needs to be aware of,” said Mr. McLelland.
He referred to a scene in Heaven Awaits Us Despite Persecution, a program that depicts a father being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese self-improvement practice based on cultivating truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Mr. McLelland summarized his experience poignantly: “There is an ancient wisdom on display here today. An ancient wisdom that has stood the test of time… it’s thousands of years old this wisdom and I think it gives us a glimpse of the infinite – the eternal. It’s quite remarkable. It feels like we’ve been invited into the Chinese tradition and culture and that’s a privilege.”
Divine Performing Arts takes as its mission to revive traditional Chinese culture including traditional Chinese performing arts.
The company will now go to Toronto for seven shows at John Bassett Theatre from January 8 to 14.
This article was written with files from NTDTV , a media partner of The Epoch Times.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Divine Performing Arts 2009 World Tour. Please see DivinePerformingArts.org for more information.