PURCHASE, New York — On Sept. 10, NTD’s annual International Classical Chinese Dance Competition drew to a close. With a total of 12 gold awards granted, the competition set a gold standard in showcasing the best of classical Chinese dance.
The competition — hosted by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) — is one of the most anticipated events for classical Chinese dance enthusiasts from all around the world. Celebrating its 10th year at the Performing Arts Center of Purchase College in New York, the competition not only marked a milestone, but also set the stage for a new era in promoting and preserving this ancient Chinese art form.
As part of NTD’s unwavering dedication to traditional culture, the competition saw talents converge from every corner of the globe. This year’s event produced a total of 12 gold awards and allowed attendees the unique experience of watching breathtaking performances by gold award winners from previous years.
An ancient dance form
“I loved not only the dance itself, but the meaning that the dance represents. Really, because it made me feel that I was seeing something that I never saw in my life, and that I was loving,” Bernardo Scheimberg, a 91-year-old retired doctor, told NTD.
On the final day, after intense preliminary and semi-final rounds, 51 contenders from both junior and adult divisions showcased their prowess, advancing to the finals on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 10). Notably, several contestants embodied historical characters from ancient China with impeccable precision, athleticism, and skill.
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Their graceful movements — combined with superb technical skills — offered a unique glimpse into the stories, history, and artistry of classical Chinese dance. Capturing the essence of this ancient dance form, the performances left the audience in awe with each leap, twist, and turn.
“I’m only half Chinese, I grew up in America,” said holistic health and fitness coach, Tysan Lerner. “So, for me, having something like this where I get to see real, traditional Chinese culture is very meaningful to my heart.”
Notably, many of the dancers who participated in the competition are performers of Shen Yun Performing Arts, who partake in the competition to hone and perfect their skills. Recognized globally, Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and arts troupe. The company’s reputation for its mastery in the traditional art form, combined with innovative and vibrant performances, has garnered it accolades and admiration from audiences worldwide.
Founded in 2006 and based in New York, Shen Yun aims to showcase 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture and heritage prior to the ravages of communism. In order to meet the high demand of its performances, the company currently has eight equally-sized troupes that tour and perform around the world simultaneously; putting on a brand new production every year.
The roster of previous gold medalists, including the likes of Allen Liu, Michelle Lian, and Nara Oose, graced the stage in a technical showcase, ensuring a visual feast for those in attendance.
As the curtain fell, awards were presented to:
- Junior Female Division: Sophie Shao, Grace Rubacek
- Junior Male Division: Adam Parker, Lucas Browde
- Adult Female Division: Angela Lin, Bella Fan, Jessica Si, Carol Huang
- Adult Male Division: Alex Chiang, Henry Hung, Michael Hu, Jesse Browde
- Junior Female Division: Katherine Parker
- Junior Male Division: Eric Lu, Tommy Han, Masayuki Sho, Daniel Liang
- Adult Female Division: Lillian Parker, Grace Huang
- Adult Male Division: Tony Zhao, David Xiao, Ethan Guo
- Junior Female Division: Alice Zhu, Vicky Wu, Ellen Hsiao
- Junior Male Division: Ryan Zhou
- Adult Female Division: Luna Yu, Jenna Chen, Anna Huang
- Adult Male Division: Aaron Huynh, Daniel Zhang, Daniel Sun, Felix Sun, Yuanming Chen, Johnny Tsai, Hungwei Sun
- Junior Female Division: Xie Zishan, Catrina O’Neill, Dahlia Lin
- Junior Male Division: Andrew Liu, Steven Tao
- Adult Female Division: Madeline Chen, Laura Li, Jiayuan Yang, Justina Wong, Nancy Xu, Kathy Rui Wu, Claire Jiao
- Adult Male Division: Bill Hsiung, Lee Rubacek, Alan Lee
The culmination of NTD’s 10th International Classical Chinese Dance Competition stands testament to the network’s dedication to preserving and promoting traditional Chinese culture. Through such events, classical Chinese dance can find a new lease of life and connect new generations with the rich tapestry of China’s cultural legacy.