The performance is so stunning and unique that crowds all over the world over and over again have remained captivated. 21 dancers stand perfectly in line, with the exception of the lead dancer, only their arms and hands are visible. Perfectly synchronized, the lead dancer of “The Thousand-handed Goddess of Mercy” goes through the inspiring and jaw dropping choreography. “When we step on stage, what we are eager to reveal is our heart, not just our art,” says lead dancer Tai Lihua.
Ever since first getting involved in dance at the age of 15, Tai Lihua has since soared to become one of the most recognized dancers in all of China. Her passion and involvement in dance has taken her to the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe (CDPPAT), where she has since become President and Art Director of the CDPPAT and Vice Chairperson of the China Association of Special Art. She also holds the title of the commissary of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Under her leadership, the CDPPAT now performs more than 150 professional shows annually and has performed in more than 75 countries in five continents. Her work with CDPPAT has resulted in the professional troupe being referred to as a “Messenger of Beauty and Humanity,” and designated as a “UNESCO Artist for Peace”. “For 20 years we have toured the world to perform,” says Tai as she humbly reflects on her career. “But I understand that without the support of society and help from other artists, we would not have been able to enjoy these days.”
Tai has performed in numerous opening and closing ceremonies for events such as the Athens and Beijing Paralympics, during the Jerry Lewis Telethon, and in front of live television audiences with more than 110 million viewers. She has given performances in more than 75 different countries, and is the only Chinese dancer to have performed at both Carnegie Hall in New York and La Scala in Milan. She has been received by 30 different heads of states and governments around the world. Over and over again, her audience has found themselves inspired by her performances.
Tai Lihua was voted by the Chinese public as one of the most inspiring individuals in China and awarded the “Most Touching Person in China 2005″ award. “Our success in our special art is an expression of the Chinese culture, human spirit and social harmony.” While she has performed in some of the most famous venues in the world, including the Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House, she also recognizes the importance of performing at schools, institutions, and for welfare organizations. As a Deaf person performing in perfect harmony with music that she does not hear, Tai has a deep appreciation for those who persist in accomplishing their dreams. “Why must people keep bitter memories? You cannot choose what life you will have,” reflects Tai on her lifelong journey, “but you can choose your outlook towards life.”
Tai Lihua is the winner of the DeafNation Inspiration Award for Performing Arts in 2012.
By Anthony Mowl