China’s deaf dance troupe mesmerises Penangites in first show in Malaysia

Photos By StoryPhotos ROYCE TAN

Aquatic theme: Twelve hearing impaired performers showcasing the fish dance

THE China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe took Penang by storm in its first performance in Malaysia.

The troupe, whose members comprise people with various disabilities, captured the hearts of the audience at the Penang Chinese Town Hall (PCTH) where they staged a charity variety show on Sunday.

Drawing the loudest applause was a group of 21 hearing impaired dancers who gave a spellbinding Thousand-Hand Kuan Yin performance.

They danced in sync to the tune of the song with the help of two instructors, who stood at both ends of the stage, signalling to them the tempo of the song.

The crowd erupted in cheers as the 21 pairs of hands gracefully bloomed in multiple layers in the climax of the dance.

Another performer, who had the audience in rapture, was Wang Jian Hua, 47, who showcased his talent in Chinese calligraphy, using his mouth.

“I had to amputate both my arms and left leg after I was electrocuted at work in Shanghai when I was 19. I was a technician,” Wang said.

Losing three of his most vital limbs did not deter him from living a normal life.

Wang practised drawing with his mouth a year after the accident before slowly venturing into calligraphy. He even won second prize in a national competition which impressed former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji.

Three of the deaf dancers had no problems imitating the King of Pop as they showed off Michael Jackson’s signature dance moves and the legendary moonwalk to the beat of Dangerous.

Wheelchair-bound singer Kelly Kong Lingzhen drew much applause as she took to the stage with a few powerful renditions.

“Both my father and sister are actors and I am inspired to be a performer like them too although I’m not normal,” she said during an interview after the show.

Kong, whose growth was stunted after she suffered from high fever for more than 20 days when she was three, said she has been performing worldwide for more than 10 years now. She declined to reveal her age.

Sight-impaired Erhu player Zhang Zhixuan mesmerised the crowd with his flawless performance which had won him first prize in the national handicapped art contest back in China.

Among the other performances was that of Xiang Shouhong and Zhong Weilai, both of whom are one-legged. They wowed the audience with their rigorous dance routine.

There was also a fish dance by 12 deaf performers, a hula hoop dance by five deaf performers and an auspicious dragon dance integrating various Chinese elements.

PCTH chairman Datuk Lam Wu Chong said: “I believe the show inspired most of the spectators as the performers show that it is still possible to be good in something although they are disabled.”

Funds raised from the show will be channelled to seven charitable organisations, six in Penang and one in Beijing.

The Beijing-based troupe, which has already captured the hearts of audiences in many countries, has a total of 180 disabled performers.

“Only 30 of them are here to perform today,” said troupe manager Mu Jianzhi.

Mu said the troupe holds a nationwide competition in China for the disabled every four years to scout for talents.

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