On Thursday in New York state, NTD held the preliminaries of its ninth International Classical Chinese Dance Competition, with 109 contestants from North America and Asia participating in it.
Through the expressive art form of classical Chinese dance, contestants showcased various characters—such as a joyful waiter, an ancient emperor, and a heavenly maiden.
The competition aims to promote the traditional art of classical Chinese dance. In China, traditional Chinese culture has been all but destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party over the past several decades. Now, these artists hope to bring back the 5,000 years of tradition.
Vicky Zhao from New York says that to better portray the character, she has to learn the history. “I think I’ve learned a lot in the process of preparing my dance, and I need to think about the history of the character. For example, I perform Ban Zhang. She is a historian back in the Han Dynasty,” she said.
Tonya Wang started dancing when she was four. This time, she portrayed the Chinese goddess of the moon—Chang’e. “She is a heavenly figure and a very beautiful lady. To portray this character, I not only have to show her beauty, but also bring out the sense of divine inspiration, which is more difficult to perform,” she said. “I try to read ancient books, and then from there to complete the understanding of the character of Chang’e.”
Po-Yen Hsieh from Taiwan says through dance, he gets a more profound resonance with the culture: “Chinese classical dance, the inner meaning it brings to me, the impact it has on my heart, the impact of that culture is what I truly want.”
The judging criteria will focus on the bearing, form, and techniques that are characteristic of classical Chinese dance.
NTD will live stream the final round of the competition on Sept. 5, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. There will also be a technical showcase from previous gold winners and then the awards ceremony. The livestream can be watched on NTD’s TV network and social media platforms.