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Inheritor of Intangible Cultural Heritages Performs in Hunan Cancer Hospital to Celebrate the Lantern Festival --- the first time therapeutic drum circle being introduced into clinical spiritual care in Hunan
Several figures in the shadow play dance lively on the simple curtain, among which, the most attractive is the colorful Monkey King, who with his jaws coming up and down holds a steamer written with “wishing you prosperity” and bows to the audience. Applause thunders in the room. February 22nd of Gregorian Calender and January 15th of Lunar Calendar is the day when the Lantern Festival of China falls and the hospital throws a party in the Outpatient Hall to celebrate the festival with the patients. In addition to traditional games like guessing lantern riddles and eating sweet dumplings, the hospital also invites Mr. Zhu Guoqiang, inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage of shadow-play art to perform a classical shadow play. Moreover, Clinical Spiritual Care Department also introduces into this celebration event the therapeutic drum circle -- a musical therapy very popular in the world. They want to try different ways to help resident patients to cope with their emotional and psychological troubles and accept treatment positively.
Shadow-play Art Inheritor Gives Charity Performance
Spiritual care concert of HCH has already been very popular and welcome among patients of the hospital. Patients crowd in the outpatient Hall every time when there is a concert going. Especially since the last year, the concert has renewed its performance style. For example, at the Spring Festival Concert held in this January, professional performers from the Changsha Municipal Hunan Opera Protection and Inheritance Center is invited to perform Huagu operas for the patient.
Mr. Zhu Guoqiang, who gives the charity performance this time is an inheritor of intangible cultural heritage. He was born in a family which has performed shadow plays for generations. He began to study shadow play from his father at 15. Till now, he has spent dozens of years on studying shadow plays. In 2009, he used his own money to establish the first Shadow Play Art Museum in China. He is really versatile in that he can carve, paint, sing, blow or beat musical instrument. He succeeds in finishing a tour performance from July to August across the country to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the victory agaisnt Japanese invasion. In order to give this charity performance, Mr. Zhu Guoqang rushed back overnight for the outside. He said “patients of cancers are faced with both psychological and economic pressures. I am very happy to be able to spend the last day of the spring festival holidays with them. I hope the shadow play can make them feel happy.”
This charity performance is really fantastic and is applauded loudly by the audience. A patient uncle Wang said “today my grandson comes to see me. He has never seen the shadow play before. So he is really happy to see this. ”
Prof. Liu Xiaohong, academic leader of the subject of clinical spiritual care and deputy party secretary of the hospital, thus commented “the team of volunteers working at the spiritual care concerts grows much bigger than before and becomes increasingly professional. Professional performers from the Hunan Opera Troup just staged for us a Spring Festival Concert. Now Mr. Zhu Guoqiang brings his shadow play team here to celebrate with us. We share the same mission with these professional performers which is : we want to comfort their minds and help them fight against cancers positively.”
Therapeutic Drum Circle Gives its Debut
Another highlight of the Lantern Festival Party is the drum circle introduced by the Spiritual Care Department. In order to encourage the patients to join in the game, Prof. Wang Yunqi, director of the Traditional Chinese Medicine\Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Department led doctors and nurses from his department to join the drum circle performance.
The drum circle uses various percussion instruments to work out rhythms and melodies. It has no demand on the musical competence of its participants, nor on their age, sex or career. The participants only follow the sometimes slow and sometimes rapid rhyme to hit the beats and share the modulation of their mind and feel extremely happy. In this joyful atmosphere, the barriers between people are shattered and music floats freely in the circle made of people. Thus, the patients can feel less pressed and more relieved. Their potentials and sense of collectiveness are greatly boosted.
Drum circle is a kind of music therapy. It is a completely new therapy being put into trial by the Clinical Spiritual Care Department of the hospital. It mainly helps the patients to cope with their emotional and psychological troubles and cultivate a positive mindset and stronger perseverance to fight against cancers. Liu Xiaohong said the therapeutic drum circle is applicable to various people under medical conditions. The number of participants vary from 3, 5 to about 20. They may have the same or different diseases. All participants sit in a circle, each having a percussion instrument or an article to perform music with This therapy uses different elements of music to teach the patients to experience and express their deep feelings through music, so as to help them nurture their mind and receive treatment.
In addition to joyous fun games, steaming sweeting dumplings and red lantern riddles, the lively interaction between doctors and patients permeates the hall. “It is a tradition of the hospital to hold as many varieties of events as possible at different holidays. I hope by organizing events like these we can remove the distance between doctors and patients, make everybody feel relieved and enliven their dull life in the hospital”, said Prof. Liu Xiaohong.