In the United States, if a public school were to attempt teaching young, deaf and/or disabled students in the art of an intricate dance and required them to drill repeatedly as if they were in the Marine Corps, humanitarians and feminists—due to the attractive young women—would cry foul and soon there would be pressure to cancel it, make it illegal, or hold investigations. There might even be boycotts and protests.
As for autocratic corporate Charter schools that are stealing money from the community-based, democratic public schools in the United States, forget it. Corporations are in it for the higher test scores so they can brag and hijack more children from the public schools to boost profits.
In addition, critics of China infected with the Racist Sinophobia Virus (RSV), a mental illness learned while growing up, might chime in to crucify the Middle Kingdom once again for crimes against humanity reminding us—with more lies and exaggerations—of Tibet, censorship, and more.
From China (Thousand-hand ~ Guan Yin ~ 千手观音 )
But when it was established in 1987, the China Disabled People’s Art Troupe (CDPAT) was an amateur performance troupe supported by the government with members recruited from around the country.
In 2002, that all changed, after the troupe’s first commercial performance. The China Daily reported, “After its first commercial performance, in 2004, the troupe made 10 million yuan (US$1.21 million).”
Tai Lihua, the lead dancer and captain of the CDPAT, has visited many countries with her troupe. For instance, they have performed at the John F. Kennedy Centre in New York City and the Teatro alla Scala in Venice, two of the world’s most prestigious theatres.
The dance of the Thousand-Hand Guan Yin is named after the Bodhisattva of compassion, revered by Buddhists as the Goddess of Mercy, who is a compassionate being that watches for and responds to the people in the world who cry out for help such as the deaf and disabled members of the CDPAT.
Being deaf and mute, these disabled performers endured pain and suffering in vigorous training simply to deliver a message of love, and when you watch the embedded videos and see close ups of the performers’ faces, you will see their dedication.
When I first watched this video, I was reminded of Amy Chua, the Tiger Mother, and how she relentlessly drilled her daughters in piano and violin. US critics raged at this after Chua’s memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was published. However, the oldest daughter, Sophia, went to Harvard and enjoys playing the piano.
Often, the rewards of enduring the pain and suffering it takes to achieve near perfection in an art such as playing piano or learning intricate dances comes only after years of challenging and demanding repetition.
What’s amazing about this dance troupe is that all the performers are deaf, making the choreography to the music even more incredible, and the difficulties encountered in training are beyond imagining.
However, four instructors, who can hear and speak, signal the rhythm of the music from four corners of the stage/room, and with repetition and diligent practice, the performance is nearly flawless.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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