COURTESY SIGHT, SOUND & ACTION
"Heartbeat" is a stage revue that shows off the talents of 60 dancers and nine musicians, all trained in Beijing.
Chinese troupers present a blend of Western and martial arts disciplines
How well will a Chinese-conceived dance show sell in the United States? That's the question Dennis Law hopes will be answered to his satisfaction when his "Heartbeat" debuts in this country at the Blaisdell Concert Hall next week.
On stage: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 21, 27 and 28; 8 p.m. Dec. 22, 23 and 30; and 2 p.m. matinees Dec. 23, 24, 27 and 30 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall
Tickets: $19 to $49, with $5 discount for children and groups ($29 to $49 for the Dec. 22 performance)
Call: (877) 750-4400 or online at ticketmaster.com
The lavish show has played successfully in three Canadian cities. After Honolulu, Law said, he plans to take the show to San Francisco and Denver.
Developed through his Sight, Sound & Action production company, "Heartbeat" features a cast of 60 dancers and nine musicians -- all trained in a musical theater school in Beijing -- in a colorful stage revue that looks like it could play a Las Vegas showroom with no problem.
With a look and sound inspired by China's various dynasties and a wide variety of percussion instruments, "Heartbeat" features dancing drawn from both Western dance and martial arts disciplines.
"The show is strictly done to Chinese percussion instruments," Law said by phone from Toronto. "They're very rich in tradition, something not usually very well advertised. They're less tribal than the African drums, with more variety (in timbre). The drums are all of different shapes and material, along with chimes and different kinds of gongs."
Law said "Heartbeat" also features variations on regional folk dances, "each with different emphasis on body movement and style."
"The essence of the show is to present why drums have such a rich tradition in human history. Their sounds parallel the human heartbeat. ... The show's narrative thread is of a girl's fantasy of how drums applied to China's different dynasties. ... (Hawaii's audience) should respond emotionally to the rhythm and beautiful movement."
Law said that if "Heartbeat" succeeds in Honolulu, "I hope to make it an annual affair to bring a different show, to help promote multiculturalism."