At the end of the Friday night show at the Arie Crown Theatre, many audience members said they found what they had looked for: Something different.
Toni Tracy said she wanted to her daughter Dana to see something different and expand her horizons. She brought Dana to the Divine Performing Arts show Friday night.
"Yes, my horizons have been truly expanded tonight!" said Dana laughing. She said she was struck by the beauty of the fan dance, and she did not expect to see such variety of expression and colors in the same performance.
Toni, who works at the Chicago Tribune, found the Tang Drummers her favorite. She described the ease of the drummers' movements as "with coordination and without coordination," saying that the performance was "so unique."
The Divine Performing Arts seems to attract different people in different ways. Many of them expressed that the show has told them something different, something new.
Maria Lopez, who saw the show with her Puerto Rican husband, said, "The show takes me away from the stress of life … I really learned a lot about Chinese culture tonight."
Mary Thomson, an employee of a bank who lives in the Kankakee area, found both strength and gracefulness in the performance.
"I think it's beautiful, it is very symbolic, the gracefulness and beauty expressed not only by the costuming, but also by the movement. It is just, it's amazing. And the strength too. They have to be wonderful athletes to be able to do that," she said, adding that she has learned about China's ancient traditions through the show.
When asked about the dance depicting the beating of a Falun Gong practitioner by Chinese police, Dana said, "It really touched me and it is so sad that this is going on right now. I wish I could do something about it."
Toni said the scene also touched her deeply.
"You could feel the extreme emotion on the dancers faces and the artists are deeply getting into their work."
Lisa Traimas, project manager in the Chicago area, said the dance helped her to visualize the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
"Our instructor told us about what was going on in China, that the Chinese government was against people practicing Falun Gong. I had only heard about it, but coming to the show I was able to visualize it. Seeing women getting beaten was very surprising to me—I didn't know they were getting treated like that for something they believed in."
Another audience member, Fidel Gonzalez, a flight attendant, said the Friday show opened his mind spiritually.
"It opened up my mind spiritually. The symbols, strength, and belief were very comforting. I'll be coming again next year."
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Divine Performing Arts performances. For dates and times of their world tour visit: http://www.divineperformingarts.com/sy/ticket_info.