SYDNEY, Australia—Asked what his favourite act was after the final Divine Arts Group performance at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on Saturday night, Australia's top chess player and first chess grandmaster, Ian Rogers, unhesitatingly chose the "two stringed fiddle". When challenged further to name his favourite instrument, he smiled and said: "Yeah, I select option C."
This cryptic but witty response came from the introduction to the Chinese erhu instrumental piece entitled 'Predestinated Relationship', one of the many diverse performances displaying ethnic Chinese folklore and culture. The female MC, Kelly, challenged her male counterpart with the question, which one of the following is a two stringed Chinese classical instrument: "A: Xiao (Chinese vertical flute), B: Guzheng (zither), C: erhu or D: didgeridoo."
The MC was stuck and chose to "ask the audience", and for one long moment it seemed Australian pride was lost with a worrying background humming of "D…". But reassuringly, many of the younger audience members were able to correctly select option C.
When questioned as to why he found the "two string fiddle" so interesting, Mr Rogers said he was astounded at the wide range of tones and the beautiful vibrato which filled the piece with emotions. This was something he hadn't experienced before from other similar string family instruments, such as the violin.
Despite their immense fascination with Chinese culture, Ian and his wife Cathy Rogers were at first sceptical about coming to the Spectacular as they had doubts about the showing of authentic Chinese culture on stage. However, due to the persistent persuasion of their Chinese friend and fellow Australian chess grandmaster Zong Yuan Zhao, they not only sat through the whole show, but became completely riveted by the performances.
"My only grudge was that I had many favourite scenes, but before I had time to savour one, there was already another great scene. Just like good Chinese cuisine, before you can finish one course, the next dish is already on the table. I will self-invite myself next year for more!"
The Divine Arts Group is on a world tour with a goal to showcase 5000 years of diverse mainland and ethnic Chinese culture. They will now tour other major Australian cities—Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide—before going on to New Zealand.
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/ http://en.epochtimes.com/features/dpa2008/