As is tradition, during the closing ceremony of the 2004 Athens Summer Paralympics, the next host, Beijing, had eight minutes to showcase China’s vast culture. It was at this point that the Chinese Performing Arts Troupe for People with Disabilities (CDPPAT) made its international debut with the iconic and now internationally recognized Thousand Hands Bodhisattva Dance.
A year later, the troupe presented the most notable dance numbers, performing at the 2005 Spring Festival Gala Concert. The video went viral on YouTube and Facebook and received millions of views.
The Dance of the Thousand Hands Bodhisattva is a beautifully synchronized flow of movement. What is even more amazing is that the group of sixty-three strong dancers who perform this incredible dance are all deaf or hard of hearing. The artists are supported by six directors who use sign language to help the dancers feel the beat and stay on the right beat.