A show of hands

Updated: 2011-12-11 09:19

By Wang Jing (China Daily)

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A troupe of 21 dancers makes a celestial image come to life. Photographer Wang Jing brings the excitement into focus.

They live in a world of silence, but they never complain about what fate has dealt them. Instead, they keep smiling, and prove with their artistic talent and optimistic attitude that being disabled can inspire something beautiful.

A show of hands 

Dancers check each other's makeup and costumes before the show. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/ China Daily]

That's how the astonishing dance known as Goddess of Mercy With a Thousand Hands (qianshou guanyin) came into being. In the less-than-six-minute show, 21 deaf dancers make what has been an abstract Buddhist image into a tangible being with kind eyes, a variety of hand postures and a spirituality that personifies the benevolence of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva or Goddess of Mercy.

Many find it hard to believe the performers are hearing-impaired.

The latest performance is part of a package titled My Dream, put together by the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe to commemorate World Disabled Day.

Unlike previous shows, the troupe features new faces this time, with dancers all aged around 15, according to their sign-language instructor, Li Wenqian.

Established in 1987, the troupe has performed in over 70 countries and districts. With the Thousand Hands Dance as its calling card, the troupe has established a charity foundation called My Dream. In the past three years, it has donated 8.5 million yuan to domestic charities and some 815,000 yuan to international causes.

You can contact the writer at sundayed@chinadaily.com.cn.

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