Unique Christmas Show 'Holiday Wonders' Premieres in New York City

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Holiday Wonders openning show at the Beacon Theatre put the audience in awe, creating a fresh holiday tradition, blending traditional Chinese culture with Western classics.

The audience sighed in awe as the rising curtain revealed a breathtaking scene, a veritable heavenly vision, in New York Tuesday evening at the premiere of Holiday Wonders at the Beacon Theatre. The acclaimed show is creating a fresh holiday tradition, blending traditional Chinese culture with Western classics in a way that audiences are saying is unique, beautiful, and exquisite.

The opening night marked the beginning of a world tour of the show's main performers, the Divine Performing Arts troupe. Through Spring of next year, the troupe will travel to more than 50 cities worldwide, bringing classical Chinese dance and their fusion of Chinese folk music and Western classical music to audiences far and wide.

"The whole thing was absolutely magical--those gorgeous costumes, the exquisiteness of the dancing," raved Christine Walevska a master cellist, who has performed around the world. "Everyone on stage is a talent. They do such fabulous things. The dancers fly through the air, which is so immensely difficult to do, but they make it look so easy."

"I really liked it. I really loved the Swan Lake performance," said Christine Beal, a Manhattan resident and amateur ballet dancer of 14 years. "I was in a hurried mood from work and my friend had a stomachache before the show. By the end we felt peaceful and good."

While the Western acts were no doubt familiar and touching for American audience members, the Chinese portion of the show created a cultural experience that some Chinese critics have said you won't see anywhere else, even in mainland China--where much of China's ancient culture was decimated during the Cultural Revolution during the 1960s and 70s. From the folk dances of Mongolia and Korea, to the royal court dances of ancient dynasties, and the myths and legends of China's divinely inspired culture, Holiday Wonders is introducing these artistic jewels to both Westerners and Easterners alike.

"A beautiful example of a beautiful culture," said Terry Sprouse, who came from Washington, DC to see the show. "The performances complement and blend together to give you a picture of the dynasties of China, like the Tang Dynasty."

Pat McCann, also travelling from Washington, DC said she liked the dance rendition of the classic Chinese legend of a woman who travels to the moon and the man who saves the world from nine suns.

"I'm very illiterate with this culture, I have a new appreciation now," said McCann.

As the audience members watched the Holiday Wonders at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan, residents of Baltimore applauded a simultaneous show opening in their city. For the first time, the Divine Performing Arts troupe has launched two performance troupes, complete with two sets of dancers, singers, and Chinese- and English-speaking hosts. While the first group spends this week at the Beacon accompanied by a live orchestra and Western ballet pieces, the second group will be touring up and down the East Coast, visiting Charlotte, North Carolina, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, among other cities.

In the new year, with their Chinese New Year show, the two troupes will continue on their separate paths, with one covering the West Coast and Asia, while the other heads off to Europe.

For five consecutive years, the troupe's shows, Holiday Wonders and the Chinese New Year Spectacular, have steadily gained momentum, growing from a handful of shows, to this year playing around 150 shows in more than cities across the world, from Toronto, Paris, and Sydney, to Taipei, Tokyo, and Seoul, and many more.

"It's very different from all the Broadway shows I have ever seen. The costumes, the colors were absolutely beautiful," said Nayyar Mallick of Westchester, N.Y.

"It's very good. It's refreshing. It's different," said Michael Tsang, from Boston. "I've seen the show before and every year it gets better, artistically there is something unique about it."

"I loved it loved it loved it, I could have watched it for hours," said Felice of Manhattan's Upper West Side, where the Beacon Theatre is located.

"It was a wonderful show, I really enjoyed it, I could see it again," said Sandeep Bedi of Manhattan.

Holiday Wonders is playing at Beacon Theatre on Broadway and 74th from December 18 through 26. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster or by going online to http://www.holidaywonders.net.

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