“Actually, I wasn’t thinking about the awards or placements at all when I entered the competition,” Huang said. “I participated to improve in my art—and I learned so much during the process this time.”
The classical Chinese dance competition is one in a series of international cultural and arts events aimed at promoting traditional culture. In China, this culture has been all but destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party over the past several decades. The events are hosted by NTD.
“I feel like I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the culture and meaning in classical Chinese dance,” Huang said. “I’m happy with the outcome, and I think this gives me even more conviction in my art: I know the path I want to walk on toward the future.”
Huang is part of a generation of dancers who have as part of their dance fundamentals the method of “shen dai shou” (“the body leads the hands”), a method of movement in many Chinese arts from martial arts to dance, that performing artists have been trying to rediscover and grasp in the modern era. Shen Yun and its academy Fei Tian are the only institutions that have implemented this way of movement into their training method systemically, and the effect is a grander and more vivid body language and stage effect. This method was one of the main requirements competition judges were looking for this year.
“As a performing artist, I want to communicate something positive to audiences. I want to show them the beauty of classical Chinese dance, and the virtues of traditional Chinese culture,” she said.
“I hope in the future I can continue to bring beauty and goodness to audiences, to uplift them with a message of pure kindness and beauty.”
Over 100 dancers participated in the competition, which took place Sept. 2–5 in New York state.
With reporting by NTDTV.