It should go without saying that talent and disability are not mutually exclusive. Yet that is not the case, as performers with externally apparent disabilities such as blindness rarely succeed in entering mainstream culture. Artists such as Ray Charles stand out as individual exceptions in the public mind; their success does not alter the overall perspective. “The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe” which will appear at the Israeli Opera on October 17 – 18 as part of Tel Aviv Dance 2009, presents an alternative success story, in addition to a performance of amazing beauty.
“My Dream” which premiered at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Para-Olympics Games, comes to Israel for the first time with 55 artists from 25 different provinces. Song, dance, opera and musical compositions are interwoven in a mesmerizing show. One of the highlights is the “Thousand Hand Bodhisattva” performed by 21 deaf dancers, among them – Tai Lihua, artistic director and principal dancer of the company. Some of the company’s star performers include: Zhang Hiahuan, a singer who performs from her wheelchair, Jiang Xintian, a sign-language artist, Jin Yanhui, a pianist whose favorite composer is Beethoven and Hung Yangguang, a dancer who lost both arms at age five.
The repertoire includes: “To See Spring” a dance performed by 16 dancers connected by a rope, classical ballet performed by dancers who have never heard music, whose movement is guided by sign language and selections from opera. Founded in 1987 to develop the talents of young artists, the company has grown over time, becoming a non-profit professional performing arts troupe in 2002. The existence of this organized structure enables them to express their talents and support themselves as artists. An artistic environment in which each individual can flourish is enhanced by the spirit of cooperation, as the artists work together: “I am your eyes, and you are my eyes; I am your mouth, and you are my legs.”
October 17 at 21:00, October 18 at 17:45 and 21:00
Israeli Opera, 19 Shaul HaMelech Street, Tel Aviv