Dance of the Thousand-Hand Guan Yin

September 21, 2011

In the United States, if a government run school were to attempt teaching young, deaf and/or disabled students in the art of an intricate dance and required them to drill, drill, drill as if they were in the Marine Corps, humanitarians and feminists (due to the scantily clad pretty women) would cry foul and soon there might be pressure to make it illegal and hold investigations. There might even be boycotts and protests.

Then, similar to a recent rail accident in China, other critics of China infected with the Racist Sinophobia Virus (RSV), which is a learned mental illness, might chime in to crucify the Middle Kingdom once again for crimes against humanity reminding us (with lies and exaggerations) of Tibet, censorship, etc.

From China (Thousand-hand ~ Guan Yin ~ 千手观音 )

However, 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.

That changed in 2002, after the troupe’s first commercial performance. The China Daily said, “After its first commercial performance. In 2004, the troupe made 10 million yuan (US$1.21 million).”

Tai Lihua, the lead dancer and chairman of the CDPAT, has visited many countries with her troupe. 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 the 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, now attends Harvard and still enjoys playing the piano.

In fact, if you click on Sophia’s name and visit her Blog Post for August 25, 2011, you would discover, “When I practiced piano yesterday, I worked on cadences.”

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 the 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.

Discover more in Silence to Beauty, which is about the art of graduates from China’s Shandong Provincial Rehabilitation and Career School.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

Hard Landing for Who?

July 15, 2011

A friend sent me a link to a CNBC piece, and said, “I’m concerned how we are all so linked together economically.  if the republicans and democrats don’t come together, and the US defaults at some level of government, that could screw up China and other places as well setting off some sort of global chaos—that really scares me.”

After reading the CNBC piece, I could see why my friend was concerned.

On June 14, CNBC played on the “fear factor” and it worked.  The headline for the CNBC piece was ‘Meaningful Probability’ of Hard Landing for China: Roubini.

In the third paragraph, CNBC tells us “New York-based Roubini is closely followed by Wall Street because he predicted the U.S. housing meltdown that precipitated the global downturn.”

After establishing Roubini’s credentials, the piece focused on the US’s economic future and the language changed to “it is a glass that is half full and half empty,” while Europe is described as “kicking the can down the road”.

After reading the CNBC piece, if you were to pick one answer as the one with the most dire potential consequences, which would it be?

A.  ‘Meaningful Probability’ of Hard Landing for China

B.  The US is a glass that is “half full and half empty”.

C.  Europe is “kicking the can down the road…” (so is the US)

However, a clearer picture appears after reading what “The DailyTicker” published June 13, 2011, at, Roubini Says “Perfect Storm” May Clobber Global Economy.

Henry Blodget wrote, “Roubini’s perfect storm consists of four factors: The U.S.’s basket-case of an economy and budget deficit, a potential slowdown in China, European debt restructuring and stagnation in Japan.”

Roubini predicts there’s a one-in-three chance that these factors will clobber the global economy in 2013. One-in-three means there is a 33.3% chance this will happen and a 66.6% that it won’t.

As for “Kicking the can”, Blodget writes that Bloomberg quotes Roubini saying, “Everybody’s kicking the can down the road of too much public and private debt (except China). The can is becoming heavier and heavier, and bigger on debt, and all these problems may come to a head by 2013 at the latest.”

Does a “potential slowdown in China” mean the same as CNBC’s “Meaningful Probability of Hard Landing for China”?

Consider that in January 2011, the Economist’s View said, “China’s current-account surplus … is the largest in the world. … China’s external surplus stands at $316 billion, or 6.1% of annual GDP.”

Then Ethics Sage says, “On February 1, it was reported that China’s foreign currency reserves totaled $1.2 trillion. That’s about 8% of the US National Debt,” which is $14.3 trillion and growing.

Bloomberg paints a better picture for China of $2.85 trillion in currency holdings.

Who is going to land harder if Roubini’s “Perfect Storm” strikes?

A. China

B. Europe

C. the US

D. B and C

E. none of the above

Now that you have read more than what CNBC had to say, your answer to this question stands a better chance of being correct.

Isn’t it interesting how easy it is for a major element of the media (CNBC) to  be misleading?

Learn more from A Panel Discussion on China’s Economy


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.