Hearing impaired dancers become a 'thousand armed' goddess

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/02/trippy-dance.html



Thought this has been mentioned here in the past though frankly i don’t think that matters. I really love this performance, it’s quite a thing to behold and all the ladies involved do an incredible job.


There’s something crystalline and fractal about this performance. It’s like the goddess is a higher-dimensional being. Neat!


Beautiful. Notice that each palm has an eye. A thousand hands, a thousand eyes is a bodhisattva concept in Buddhist teaching and an evergreen sacred art theme. The concept is that we all can open an infinite number of eyes to see our fellow sentient beings, and reach out an infinite number of hands to help them.


The bewitching performance of Thousand-hand Bodhisattva dance performed at the 2005 CCTV Spring Festival Gala
On September 28, 2004 at the Closing Ceremony of the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games the eight-minute debut of Thousand-hand Bodhisattva as a “theme song” wonderfully shocked the whole world.

Well, that’s confusing.

Seems to me I definitely heard of this before 2012. At the time I understood they were “disabled”, but only now do I understand they intended “hearing-impaired”. Was it all a matter of timing and visuals, or did they use some form of vibration in the stage to co-ordinate?

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It’s mesmerizing but what gets me more is… if you are hearing impaired you are not meant to be a dancer. The universe has decreed that you just can’t do that.

To then look at this insurmountable difficulty and go “nope, I’m going to be amazing at dancing” is just… beautiful.

Pedantry alert:
The two hyphens missing from the headline enable some alternative meanings, especially if one thinks that ‘goddess’ was meant to be ‘goddesses’ and a comma was accidentally omitted (not much more unlikely than missing hyphens). But next time I hear impaired dancers I will try not to become one thousand armed goddesses, trust me. :wink:

PS Forgot to say, this is a wonderful thing.

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Reviralized! The internet has at last become complete.

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Look in the background of the video, in shots from a higher vantage point you can see two five people in white conducting the whole thing with visual cues.

Also @xeni seems to have got the date mixed up - the youtube video says that this is from 2005, part of a Spring Festival Gala broadcast on CCTV that year. It also says the same group (from the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe (CDPPAT) in Beijing) performed a similar dance at the 2004 Paralympic games in Athens.

eta: and a few minutes into the performance the camera starts swooping around and you see there are at least five conductors in white arrayed around the performance area.

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The date of this specific Youtube posting is 2012, so that much is accurate.

I might very well have seen this video back when that sort of thing was circulated as poorly-compressed post-age-stamp E-mail attachments. How did we live?

If you can call that living.

And here I thought the World Order performances were impressive… Wow.

Fantastic! While thinking I need to rewatch “Children of a Lesser God”, I found this:

The same group with a slightly different version of the dance, introduced by Marlee Matlin. According to another article I found, there are not only hearing-impaired dancers but also blind ones.

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