The Restoration of Traditional Values Through Dance

The restoration of traditional values through dance—it’s underway in Purchase, New York, this weekend. Friday saw the conclusion of the preliminary round of the 10th NTD International Classical Chinese Dance Competition. The event is at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. Adult contestants from both the female and male divisions performed.

Shangzhi Xu, from New York, participated for the first time. His performance brought traditional values to life through dance. The piece was called “Forced onto Mount Liang.”

When Lin Chong was framed and forced into exile in ancient times, he didn’t compromise on his values and beliefs. He chose to do what he believed was right, pursuing that sense of righteousness.

Ethan Guo, a student at Fei Tian Academy of the Arts, is competing for the second time. His piece is called “Fan of a Foreign Land.” It depicts Chinese scholars yearning for their homeland in the first half of the twentieth century.

In life, everyone has a purpose. So, you can completely abandon your minor pursuits for more significant things. Our dance pieces depict excerpts from China’s 5,000-year-old culture. They teach people how to be good, and how to hold themselves to higher principles.

Carol Huang, from Fei Tian College, is participating for the third time. She’s a two-time gold award winner in the junior female division.

This year, she’s performing a piece titled “Faith.” It portrays a Falun Dafa practitioner in China facing persecution by the Chinese Communist Party. The practitioner overcomes fear to expose the evils of the regime. Carol skillfully employs a high-level technique called, “the body leads the hands, and the hips lead the legs.” It increases her ability to express the character’s emotions.

For example, in my narrative piece about Falun Dafa, at the beginning, I performed the emotion of fear. When a person is afraid, they tend to contract because of the fear in their heart, and their body may involuntarily contract downward. But when you see divinities and Buddhas appear, and you have confidence and righteous thoughts, you feel open and bright, and your body’s movements express that clearly.

This year’s competition is the largest yet with 140 contestants competing. Participants believe the competition provides a platform for mutual learning and improvement.

I’ve gained so much from this. Coming to the United States and seeing Shen Yun artists whom I have admired for a long time, and witnessing them show ‘the body leads the hands, and the hips lead the legs’ technique,’ I learned a lot.”

Each contestant has their strengths, whether it’s technical skill or physical expression. Each person’s conditions are also different. You can see what different contestants excel in, what movements they’re best at, how they handle the music, and how they express emotion.

After two consecutive days of exciting and intense preliminary rounds, 81 contestants from the junior and adult divisions have advanced to the semi-finals. The semi-finals are on Saturday and the finals are on Sunday. Both are open to the public. Tickets are available here. NTD will broadcast the competition globally at

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