PORTLAND,Ore.—With their first and the only performance in Portland, Divine Performing Arts (DPA) company concluded the North West America leg of the 2009 International Tour. DPA’s Chinese New Year Spectacular captivated the audience at Keller Auditorium in Portland on Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Inspired by the universal values of China’s 5,000-year-old culture, the show depicts historic myths and legends as well as contemporary stories of courage through Chinese classical dance.
We asked several audience members at the show in Keller Auditorium what they thought of the performance.
Ms. Lopez, a former dancer, filmmaker and teacher, said she started out as a ballerina many years ago. “I danced professionally here in Portland, I actually danced in this building when I was young, then I went to modern dance… “
Ms. Lopez shared that she had not grown up watching Chinese dance, so she could only “draw from her experience watching Russian ballet.”
“I grew up in a generation where the Chinese were dressed in navy blue," she said. "You know, indigo blue suits, right? So to see these young women in these colorful skirts and these glorious costumes and the strong men with the gold and the drums, it’s just so delightful. It’s energizing. And it has more of a spirit than watching Western ballet dancers who are interpreting the story. These dancers seem to feel the spirit.“
Ms. Lopez found it also “fascinating to be in an audience that has so many people who are Chinese. I don’t know what they’re saying, but I felt their enthusiasm.”
Ms. Trask is a Russian architect and pianist, who “loves to share the beauty of American and classical music with Americans.”
Ms. Trask came all the way from Pasco, WA, to see the show. She exclaimed: “What can I say about today’s performance? Only bravissimo and many times! Mesmerizing artistry! I can imagine how many hours of arduous training were put in to achieve such a level of precision and synchronicity of these beautiful movements. What an amazing athletic and acrobatic mastery!”
Ms. Trask was also impressed by the rare beauty and strength of vocalists’ voices. She said: “All singers have such a beautiful timbre and voice power that can fill up this huge theater without a microphone.”
She was amazed by “astonishing flight of producers’ and choreographers’ fantasy not only in dances but also in costumes' design and color selection.”
Ms. Trask found the costumes to be exquisite and elaborate. “Famous Chinese natural silk of the costumes was so beautifully flowing and spinning around dancers’ bodies highlighting exclusiveness and refinement of their movements and their highest professionalism.”
Please see DivinePerformingArts.org for more information.