“China Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe”
by Erisa Apantaku via Jetli
“In the autumn of 1987, a group of thirty disabled people performed in front of crowds at the first China Art Festival in Beijing. BAM! The China Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe was born. Thirty years later, the troupe is thriving, having performed for thousands of people in over sixty countries, except for Antarctica.
Headed by president, art director, and main actor Tai Lihua, who became deaf at the age of two. This did not stop her from pursuing her passion of dance, the troupe recently concluded a tour in Germany.
Everyone in the organization has some form of disability, be it auditory, physical, or visual impairment. Visually impaired musicians read the music in braille. Hearing impaired dancers use vibrations to feel the beat. Visually impaired dancers use ropes to learn movements together and even implement white canes and guide dogs into performances like “To See Spring.”
Although the scope of the China Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe has expanded greatly from the humble beginnings as an amateur organization to an internationally acclaimed professional group. The troupe has retained its same founding ideals throughout the three decades of its existence:
“self-respect, self-confidence, self-improvement and self-reliance, as well as mutual respect, mutual care, mutual aid and mutual complementarities.”
These guiding principles have allowed the China Disabled People’s Performing Arts Troupe to connect with audiences from diverse backgrounds around the globe. Their performances have attracted the positive words of leaders from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Americas.