Chinese Disabled Artists Wow Greeks

ATHENS – With Greece and China becoming closer in business and cultural ties, the China Disabled People’s Performance Art Troupe put on a mesmerizing act for an appreciative Greek audience.

“It was the most touching and fantastic performance anyone can watch, it was executed excellent,” Greek pianist Maria Kanatsouli-Papadiamati told the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The atmosphere in the music hall was overwhelming, especially when the disabled artists sang two popular Greek songs, Synnefoula (Small Cloud) and Ta Paidia Tou Piraia (The Children of Piraeus) the Academy-Award winning song from the 1960 film Never On Sunday. The audience did not stop clapping and singing with them.

Papadiamati was among thousands who welcomed the world-renowned troupe and its emotional performance My Dream at Megaron Athens Concert Hall. It was the second time it had performed in Greece after its show at the 2004 Athens Paralympics.

The performers, some of whom were deaf and couldn’t hear the applause, and others who were blind and couldn’t see the audience, presented their world with songs and dances, expressing the beauty of human nature and the indomitable spirit of fighting to triumph over adversity.

The event was attended by the Speaker of Hellenic Parliament Evangelos Meimarakis, among others.

“The performance showed us the strength for life and the will that those people have to achieve everything. For us it had a didactic meaning. Especially I want to congratulate their teachers. They are an example of imitation,” he told the Chinese news agency Xinhua after the show.

The audience was enchanted when hearing impaired dancers performed on stage with accuracy and synchronization to the music the program of Thousand-hand Kwan-yin, and was moved with the condensed dance drama Butterfly Lovers, the Chinese Romeo and Juliet story performed by hearing impaired dancers.

Zumulaiti, who sang The Children of Piraeus, told Xinhua that performing in Athens has been her dream for a long time.

“Greece is the birth place of Olympic Games. For me, Greece and her capital Athens are like fairy tales. I can feel the audience’s great enthusiasm during the performance,” said Zumulaiti.

Coming to watch the show with her husband, Papadiamati was amazed by the love Chinese people have towards Art and how many things they can offer to the global cultural scene, Xinhua said. “It had inspiration, it had the poetry of Chinese people, and the enthusiasm of a nation that makes progress,” said Papadiamati.