NEW YORK—Anthony Abeson, 62-year old film and television acting coach from New York City, came with his wife and their 12-year old adopted Chinese daughter, Shay Lee, to the Saturday evening Chinese New Year Splendor.
The Abeson couple wants their daughter "to understand it and appreciate" as much of her own culture as possible. Thus, learning about Chinese culture was a treat for the family. "What was re-enforced," Anthony Abeson explains, "was how proud and noble and fine and ancient it (the Chinese culture) is. It is really wonderful…. We just loved the culture, especially the old stuff, the really ancient stuff."
As an acting coach, Abeson is "mostly concerned with the dance and the music."
"The opening performance—fabulous," Abeson said. "That really moved me and touched me. Yes. The very opening number—the clouds. Oh, that was lovely."
But putting that feeling into words proved difficult. "That's hard to say when something touches you. It moved me," Abeson continued. "So I guess something moves me. You cannot express them with words… There were a lot of moments like that throughout.
He particularly enjoyed "The Fruits of Goodness." In which two modern teenagers find themselves in an ancient temple. "They were returned to an appreciation of the old ways and their roots. Loved that," he shared. "Loved their ideas were being expressed. That piece, a lot of these pieces are expressing ideas."
This expression of ideas hits at the very heart of what Abeson tries to instill in this students. "As you know, in American culture," Abeson explains, "a lot of times, there [is] no idea being expressed."
Yet, playwrights do have something they are trying to get across. "Many pieces… are trying to express some idea… I tried to tell my students who are actors, 'you're meant to be aware of what the playwright's telling the world.'"
"So I loved it," he summed up. "They are expressing something more than just, 'Look at me! how cute I am!'"
The Chinese New Year Splendor continues in New York through Saturday, Feb. 9. For other shows in the Divine Performing Arts world tour, please visit: www.DivinePerformingArts.org .
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Chinese New Year Splendor.