LINKOPING, Sweden—Members of Linkoping's premier arts family were in the sell-out crowd who attended the city's one-day run of the Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular at the Concert and Congress Center on Thursday evening.
"I liked the colors, the [dancer's] very special moves and of course the music, it's very, very nice," said Lars Hoffsten, a painter and musician who attended with his wife, Joanne, also a prominent artist, and their two daughters.
Joanne, originally from Buffalo, New York, showed her artist's eye for detail in pointing out the costume details in the Mongolian Bowl Dance. What stood out for her was "the way their hair was with all the beads and the beautiful aqua color. It really worked, I thought. It was just such a wonderful feeling."
Lars also "really liked the way they move" in that dance. "It was like they floating on the floor."
Overall, however, Joanne's favorite piece was Nymphs of the Sea.
"I thought that was really pretty. I think my husband liked that too—the movement of the fabric and the water in the background, very pretty."
Johanna, 14, agreed with her mom's selection, while Alice, aged 12 said, "I liked the colors too, I think everything is nice."
Lars and Joanne, met at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. Joanne works in mixed media and has exhibited in the United States, Europe, Scandinavia, and South Africa.
Lars is a drummer, playing in several bands, so he particularly enjoyed the drumming acts in the Spectacular.
"And as a drummer I liked this last part. I really enjoyed it," he said referring to Victory Drums.
Lars comes from a famous musical family in Sweden. His father, Gunnar Hoffsten, is a jazz trumpet player, and his sister, Louise Hoffsten, is a star blues and rock singer with 14 album titles. She has also acted in Swedish film and hosts a radio program for children.
Lars said that when they first heard about the Spectacular, "We decided right away we have to see this. This is fun. We heard about this the first time in December and looked forward to seeing it ever since."
He said the show portrays, "the flavor of different culture and different tradition. I can't say I know much about Chinese culture and tradition, but a little bit, so some things are familiar. Some stories that are being told on stage are not totally unfamiliar to me. But we are here to enjoy and to learn."
Joanne said they spoke with some people before the show who explained that "they're trying to show traditional Chinese values from some of the earlier folklore, trying to tell it through a folklore way of story telling and through dance. I think they did a good job."
She added that her mother loved Polish culture and would enjoy the Spectacular. Lars said his grandmother would be "just thrilled to see this, because she was a happy person. She was very interested in culture and history and she was always curious about other people and how they lived, where their values came from and she liked dance and music, so she would just love this."
With additional reporting by Cindy Drukier.
For information about upcoming Divine Performing Arts shows, please visit: www.DivinePerformingArts.org.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Chinese Spectacular. For our complete coverage please visit: http://en.epochtimes.com/features/dpa2008/