Arts & Culture

Artist Enjoys ‘poignancy and charm’ of Chinese Classical Dance

BY Leigh Smith TIMESeptember 27, 2008 PRINT

TORONTO—As the Divine Performing Arts Mid-Autumn Spectacular continues its five-day run at Toronto’s John Bassett Theatre, audiences are thrilled with the show’s portrayal of Chinese culture and history.

Charles Pachter, one of Canada’s leading contemporary artists whose works hang in public and private collections around the world, attended the Spectacular on Friday evening.

“I love the traditional dancing, it’s really beautifully done, it’s obviously a very well trained cast,” said Mr. Pachter, who has lived in Chinatown in Toronto for over 30 years.

“The music was lovely. I thought the soprano was beautiful.”

Mr. Pachter’s artistic eye was intrigued with the unique state-of-the-art digital backdrops that present a living landscape in which each dance unfolds.

“I am very impressed with the technological use of the screening in the back with the computerized images because I am an artist, so I like very much what they have done with that. I am curious to know what kind of technique they are using. It was very well done.”

His favourite piece was Lady of the Moon.

“Especially with the moon dance, that was beautiful when she flew away. It was like a fairy tale … beautifully done. It is very special, it’s a beautiful legend. It has a very nice quality about it; it’s spiritual.”

He also said the choreography was “lovely, very subtle. I liked that a lot,” and commented on Chinese classical dance, one of the hallmarks of the Spectacular.

“In today’s world one cannot see something like this…a lot of the traditional dances had some poignancy and some charm and obviously it’s a very well trained cast and they are doing good work.”

The Spectacular depicts the essence of China’s traditional culture, which included values, principles and the virtues which the ancients lived by.

“You know it’s talking about spiritual things and human struggle and all of those things. It is pretty obvious what they are trying to get across, it’s a message you know.

“There were moments that were very very touching, very beautifully done and very sensitive, so many that were touching.”

Mr Pachter, who talked with The Epoch Times during the intermission, said he was looking forward to the second part of the show.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of China’s most ancient and cherished holidays. The Spectacular expresses Chinese classical dance and showcases authentic traditional Chinese culture. Through background scenery, costumes, and choreography, the Spectacular expresses truthfulness, compassion, and pure beauty. China’s history comes to life in this gorgeous performance that is entertaining, inspiring, and uplifting. The show’s content is presented in both Chinese and English. For more information, visit:


Leigh Smith
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