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Disabled People's Troupe Performs for the Olympics
    2008-08-27 19:43:44     Beijing 2008
As a part of the Cultural Festival of the 2008 Olympic Games, the fifth production of My Dream will be performed in the China Grand Theatre August 10-12, the Poly Theatre September 8-14, the Flag Raising Square of the Olympic Village on September 7 and in the Olympic Park on September 15.

My Dream is a musical dance performance created for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games that incorporates many types of art, including music, dance, dance drama, Peking Opera, and classical opera in conjunction with representations of Chinese customs and those of other Eastern cultures. The fifth production of My Dream has adapted classical pieces such as Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and The Happy Life on Farmland in addition to new original performances including Dancing&Listening, Kite Flying and The Code of Life.

In classical Eastern tradition, the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva ("Buddha-to-be") with a thousand hands and eyes, believed to be the embodiment of compassion and mercy, is the most popular of all Buddhist deities. Depicted in the arts, the 42 hands of the bodhisattva form a circle that represents a thousand hands. In the dance Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, 21 hearing impaired dancers are arranged on a lotus-shaped stage to form the likeness of the deity. With a kind expression in their eyes, varied hand postures and spellbinding body movements, the group performs an interpretation of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's kindness. The dance was voted most popular by Chinese TV audiences.

The dance routine performed by the hearing impaired group Dancing&Listening involves passionate Latin dances. While they are unable to hear the music, the use of sight and vibration allow them to harness the rhythm and spirit of the dances. They create an interesting and pleasant world with their movements. Fantastic Rumba, Mysterious Samba and Passionate Cha-cha are their interpretations of Latin musicality for a silent world.

The abridged dance drama Butterfly Lovers is led by hearing impaired director Tai Lihua and performed by the hearing impaired duo known as the Chinese Romeo and Juliet. The dancers play the role of two star-crossed youths that fall deeply in love and ultimately reunite in heaven as butterflies.

Peking Opera is the most quintessential performance art in China and At the Crossroad is by far the most famous martial arts drama. The show's main characters are played by two hearing impaired performers that perform a series of breathtaking martial arts stunts throughout the show. The cast includes both hearing and visually impaired performers that coordinate their complex routines for a seamless performance.

In the dance To See Spring, a group of visually impaired children enjoys spring through their imagination. They sense the mild wind and warm sunshine with their ears, noses and hands. The scene is artistic and uplifting.

A group of visually impaired children also perform the Instrumental Suites. All musical arrangement and orchestration in the show is done by the children themselves and incorporates the musical traditions of many nations. A popular arrangement by the group features songs from the musical Sound of Music in which instruments are used to imitate the voices of singing children. The group also performs a number of classic Chinese songs.

The China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe was founded in 1987 to advance equal opportunity for artistic expression for persons with disabilities. The Troupe's guiding principle is the pursuit of Truth, Honesty and Virtue which it emphasizes in all of its activities.

With over 21 years of history the Troupe has expanded its scope with many independently produced programs such as My Dream, allowing the organization to travel to more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. The Troupe has been dubbed the "Image Ambassador for People with Disabilities" by the Disabled People's World Assembly and designated a "UNESCO Artist for Peace".

Embodying the universal principles of Truth, Honesty and Virtue, the Troupe promotes artistic expression for all of the world's people. My Dream transcends the boundaries of culture, politics, and language to express the common aspirations of human beings. The program uniquely presents its message in a fusion of eastern culture and spiritual traditions.

 
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