CHICAGO—People came from the city, suburbs, and beyond to see the final Chicago performance of the Chinese New Year Spectacular at the Arie Crown Theatre on Saturday night. This world-renowned show features the Divine Performing Arts Company's splendid portrayal of traditionally inspired Chinese music and dance.
Like many audience members, Minister Carolyn Hennes was taken by the drumming segment of the program. "I'm a drummer and I love drums and it's just a very spiritual thing for me," she explained.
While Hennes's drum playing centers around rock and jazz styles, the thunderous Chinese percussion offers a taste of the exotic. "You just don't hear this kind of thing around. I think it's a lot of fun," she said.
This is the third year that Spectacular has come to Chicago, and Hennes has attended all three. A non-denominational minister, Hennes said she simply likes the opportunity to celebrate any occasion.
"I think life is a celebration, and I love celebrating all aspects of life," she said. "Besides, you should get out and see what other people are thinking and doing."
Hennes was accompanied by her two sons, one of which is majoring in Chinese. She says that the Spectacular has become a family event that is so enjoyable that others need to know what a fantastic experience it can be.
"I tell everybody about it," exclaimed Hennes. "I tell people that this is a great experience and its fun to see a different culture expressing themselves freely here in the United States," said Hennes. "You won't see this kind of thing in China."
While it may sound strange that China itself does not do more to treasure their own ancient culture, Hennes believes that this expression has merely been repressed.
"Some of them realize that they've had a loss of spirituality because Communism is taught as a religion in China," she said. "They just need to reconnect to their own spirit."
While many Chinese have come to look forward to this show as a way to connect to their heritage, Hennes explains that it offers something for people from all walks of life.
"I'm about bringing community together," she said, "and that's what I think this show does too. When I look at the demographics here, I notice that you have a little bit of everything. You have Hispanics, you have the black community, of course the Chinese American community and the regular Anglo community. It brings everybody together."
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.