Houston Community News >> Chinese Dance Competition Attracts Cream of the Crop

7/7/2007-- NTDTV's Chinese Classical Dance Competition's first round showcased a high-caliber field of contestants say competition judges.

Chinese dance expert and judge Ms. Yi Choa provided insight on how she would judge contestants. "Classical Chinese dance has profound inner meaning, grace and challenging techniques. It is based on Chinese theories of aesthetics and its history allowed it many forms of expression in spirit and form."

Ms. Yi said that two dancers can perform the same dance, but their inner spirit and feelings are different and so each dancer will perform differently. She noted that the inner qualities of grace and subtlety combined with strength and flexibility and rhythm figure importantly in Chinese dance. The dancer's inner beauty is key and, without this, nothing is left. Even if without movement, one can feel the spirit and this is the essence of Chinese dance. Because modern dance has taken the stage recently, there have not been many chances for people to enjoy and appreciate traditional Chinese. But that is changing with this first-of-a-kind event. Organizers say that the competition will help to return dance to a form of goodness and beauty. Some of the junior contestants have been training for about near ten years. One young woman's favorite dance style is the Chinese ribbon dance while the other favored the sword dance.

Ms. Chen, a dancing teacher with four contestants from Xian Hua, Taiwan, has been teaching for 26 years Chinese dance, ballet and contemporary Chinese dance.

(The Epoch Times)She said that the difference between contemporary and classical Chinese dance is that the dancers can express themselves freely from the inside out whereas Chinese classical dance has more traditional moves and more techniques. However, she said contemporary dance prepares the dancer to do classical dance.

The competition is making history in the dance world. It is the first classical Chinese dance competition in the history of China that is taking place outside of the Mainland. Eighty contestants, divided by male and female in junior and adult divisions, competed. Ten young women and six young men qualified for the junior division semi finals and ten men and women will compete in the adult semi-finals.

The contestants came from all over the world, such as Taiwan, Canada, US, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea and Russia. The talent pool brought incredible dancers with the highest level technique.

According to competition Vina Li, judging was difficult because the artistic representation and the techniques of all contestants were very good. Costumes were not taken into account.

She also said that it was difficult to make the decisions because while some had good artistic style they had bad techniques and vice versa. Tomorrow it will still be more difficult to select winners because skill levels are similar. "It will be really challenging."

Another member of the nine-judge panel, Ms. Chen, said the competition was very good. "The competitors performed within the requirements. A good number even demonstrated a much higher skill level than what was required," she noted.

Dorris, a Chinese American in the audience, said that she is really excited about this dance competition. "We have so many dancers from all over the world and I congratulate those who made the semi finals."

The excitement continues Saturday with semi-final judging.

(Contributed by Epoch Times)