Asian-themed performances like NTDTV’s Chinese New year 2018 Spectacular provide an entirely new experience for a lot of Westerners, partly because built so different from much better typical, narrative-driven, performing art forms. They ask something different from the guests – a slight transfer of expectations, a shift in sensibility.
The appreciation for the purpose is implied regarding what is in plain sight sets Asian art different from Western art. Traditional Chinese dance, for example, is less precise and strict in form than its Western counterpart, ballet. It is mainly because it attempts to evoke a different sort of experiencing. Like a glass of claret having its subtle undertones, this kind of dance leaves room for the imagination while leaving a lasting impression.
The following story may help shed some light concerning the mystery:
Once there was an art dealer who had a painting that depicted a young farm boy leading a horse across a bridge. The boy was facing the horse, his body leaning back, and hubby looked like he was exerting great effort. One day a buyer were only available and had of having this painting. However, he didn’t have enough money on him purchase this rather expensive artwork right at bay. So he asked the dealer to hold the painting for him while he went home to have the funds. As the owner took the painting down, he noticed it was missing the rope the boy should have used to lead the horse. Without much thought, he listed an ink brush and added a rope to fix this apparent flaw in the ideas for painting. When the buyer came back and saw the new rope, he was terribly upset. He told the dealer: “I was only willing to spend so much concerning this painting because for this rope that wasn’t seen but could still be held!”
The more something is described from a concrete way, the smaller the range it covers. For Happy New Year 2018 Wishes , the phrase “hot water” describes just water but its temperature, so although “hot water” may appear far more specific than “water,” it precludes “warm water,” “cold water,” and other kinds of water and thus remains more limited. Perhaps this is why so much of Chinese art tends to speak in generalities. Ink landscape paintings with their broad brush strokes and wide swaths intentionally left blank are particularly hard for the Western eye to recognize. These paintings can often seem vague and unclear, but to the discerning viewer, each brush stroke speaks volumes.
The same holds for the Oriental — known for being extraordinarily concise but also rich and descriptive precisely because it is so succinct. Indeed, many Chinese words and proverbs contain concepts that could take paragraphs to explain in another speech.
The NTDTV holiday shows seem to design struck a balance between the more refined traditional dance forms and the simple pleasures of rousing music, impressive large dances with plenty of dancers moving in synch, and, of course, gorgeous costumes and backdrops. The shows offer enough new flavors regarding intriguing without being overly foreign. Much more subtle elements possibly be lost on many in the audience, but their presence nonetheless enriches the entire performance for individuals. Ultimately, stories of grace and virtue told through song and dance will speak to all of us forever.