NEW YORK—From the "Descent of the Celestial Kings" to the "Lady of the Moon," from the elegance of the Qing Dynasty to the thundering drums of the Tang Dynasty, and from Mongolia to Korea into the Beacon Theatre on New York's Broadway, Holiday Wonders is bringing to New York audiences the extensive diversity of classical Chinese dance and music.
Each song and dance performance has its own unique production, including a different backdrop, delivering an atmosphere of completeness to each story told. These are stories of kindness, forgiveness, and humility—rich values that have shaped China for thousands of years.
The production, by Divine Performing Arts and New Tang Dynasty Television, is like no other, with act after act of perfectly coordinated performances accompanied by the live Divine Performing Arts Orchestra, which seamlessly combines classical Western instruments like the violin and the trumpet with traditional Chinese instruments like the erhu, a two-stringed violin-like instrument.
Charles Matin, an information technology specialist from New Jersey, said, "Overall, the show was well done and with the live orchestra it got away from canned music. I have never heard an erhu and that was really good. The first tenor was fantastic, unbelievable. You don't see such a nice variety Chinese show and it is a nice way to celebrate the Holidays."
Israel Chorberg said, "I used to be a concert master for the American Ballet and this show is original. Even the costumes, I have never seen that kind on stage before."
His wife Tamara, a concert pianist said, "I love the way they danced as if floating, and the coordination and the music is so perfect."
Eight-year-old Natalia, visiting from Colombia, said, "I like the dancers and the costumes, the tradition of China, the colors and the movement of the dancers especially in the 'Lady of the Moon' dance and the music."
In the "Lady of the Moon," one of China's best-known legends, Chang E and her husband are granted the elixir of immortality as a reward for a leading a life of compassion but, alas, such a life is riddled with obstacles.
In another act, "The Power of Awareness," Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted for their beliefs in modern-day communist China. The meditation discipline teaches the cultivation of virtue and the traditional Chinese values of "Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance," which appear in large letters at the end of the act.
"The scenery with Truth, Compassion and Forbearance characters made me really relax and I felt like I was in China and like I was really doing the [Falun Gong] exercises together with everyone," said Ilene Fantauzzi, a New York resident.
Each time the curtain goes up in "Holiday Wonders," each scene and performance is as beautiful as the previous.
Holiday Wonders continues with a 4:00 matinee on Dec. 25 and a 7:30 p.m. performance on Dec. 26. The show will also play in Caesar's, Atlantic City, N.J. Dec. 28-30.