NTD Television Network is launching its 10th classical Chinese dance competition, with the mission of promoting pure, authentic, traditional dance and fostering cultural exchange.
As part of a series of cultural and art events hosted by NTD, the International Classical Chinese Dance Competition is aimed at renewing the ancient art form that is grounded in a civilization of five millennia, but was nearly lost after decades of ideological repression and commercialization by the Chinese communist regime.
Authentic classical Chinese dance, the organizers noted, is distinct from ballet or modern dance. “Although modern dance contains movements and techniques from classical Chinese dance, it does not contain the traditional aesthetics of classical Chinese dance,” the organizers said on its website.
With the theme of purely classical dance, the event will require not just technical skills but also the ability to interpret and depict traditional values and characters during the contestants’ performance.
“When you dance, you need a lot of artistry, not just dance technique, in order to dance,” said Zhang Minghui, a judge of NTD’s 9th Classical Chinese Dance Competition.
“There are many things that go into the development of one’s artistry, from musicality to the development of your aesthetic sense, culture, your understanding of what it means to be human. So, when you dance, it is an expression of all of these things, as you bring a character to life,” she said.
Classical Chinese dance, according to Zhang, is a language of the body that “begins from your mind, and from your heart, not just your arms and legs and movement.”
Therefore, a dancer must have a pure motive.
“Your motive for pursuing art needs to be pure, because only then are you open to inspiration, and intuition,” said Gu Yun, choreographer for Shen Yun Performing Arts in upstate New York who served as one of the judges for the NTD dance competition in 2021.
“You have to remember, it’s not a science; it’s a combination and layering of feelings and the intangible and unmeasurable,” he added.
From instructors to students, all dancers between 13 to 40 may apply at dance.ntdtv.com. Participants under the age of 18 are required to have a legal guardian sign the registration form. The deadline is Aug. 1.
Contestants will perform a set of required technical skills and a dance routine in the preliminaries.
Finalists will be competing in New York in September. NTD will livestream the competition to its millions of viewers worldwide via its TV networks and social media platforms.
Winners will receive medals and cash prizes, and will also be interviewed about their experiences preparing for the competition, as well as their views on classical Chinese dance.
Carol Huang, a gold medalist in the junior female division in the eighth dance competition, shared her new understanding of the ancient art form when she participated in the event again in 2021.
“I used to think of dance as the performance, the movements and postures, and technique. But I continue to discover that classical Chinese dance has much deeper meaning. It has as its foundation 5,000 years of civilization, it can express the feelings in your heart, and it expresses an individual dancer’s whole lived experience,” Huang said after performing her dance piece, a solo called “Spring Rain,” in New York in September 2021.
Huang, who brought home another gold medal in the ninth classical Chinese dance competition, said, “Participating in the competition is an excellent opportunity for self-improvement.”
“From movement to technical skills, everyone has their own strengths and characteristics. We could ask for advice and learn from each other.”
Shi Ping, Catherine Yang, and Leo Timm contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times