From Feb. 10 to 18, Beihang art troupe travelled to New Zealand and Cook Islands to give performances themed at Spring Festival celebration. The tour lasted for ten days and included three grant special shows and four cultural exchange performances, covering 5,000 spectators from three cities in two countries.
On Feb. 11, the troupe made its debut in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. China’s ambassador to New Zealand, members of parliament of New Zealand, the mayor of Porirua and many other privileged guests were present and expressed their greetings and gratitude to both audience and performers.
The art troupe and guests (Photo by Zhang Jianyong)
The auditorium was packed
The Wellington Theater, which can hold up to 1,500 people, was packed at that night. The authentic and elegant music performed by Chinese traditional orchestra marked the beginning of the event. Then, the audience was impressed by the presentation of martial arts and Chinese traditional opera, which are treasures of Chinese culture.
The event was hosted by young students and a cute “panda” (Photo by Zhang Jianyong)
A folk music ensemble by Chinese traditional orchestra
Chinese traditional opera
Chinese martial arts performance (Photo by Zhang Jianyong)
Dressing in different Chinese ethnic costumes, the performers presented varied assortment of Chinese folk dance (folk dance of Dai, Yi, Mongol and so on). Different dancing styles showed diversified temperaments and customs of Chinese minorities. During the intervals, various small gifts symbolizing good luck and prosperity in Chinese culture such as Chinese knots and mini lanterns were given to the audience. The show ended with the music Spring Festival Overture.
A dancing program named “Erdos”
Folk dance of Yi
A creative dance named “The Great Wall” (Photo by Zhang Jianyong)
On Feb. 14, the troupe went to Auckland to participate in the 20th anniversary of Auckland Lantern Festival, New Zealand’s largest cultural festival. Lasting for four days, the Auckland Lantern Festival featured the largest scale, the widest participation and the longest duration in the southern hemisphere.
On the evening of Feb.14, HE Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand officially opened the 2019 Auckland Lantern Festival at Auckland Domain. In her speech, she sent New Year’s greetings to the public in Chinese. She said that Chinese Lantern Festival represents family reunion, whose cultural connotation breaks the barriers of language and cultural differences. Xu Erwen, Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Auckland, said that Auckland Lantern Festival contributed greatly to the harmonious relationship between New Zealand and China.
Dame Pasty delivered the opening speech
Xu Erwen spoke at the event
Following that, superb performances brought by the troupe lit up the stage, winning warm and prolonged applause from the audience.
At the event
A dance program at the festival gala
The last destination of the art tour was Avarua. The event took place at National Auditorium of Cook Islands on the evening of Feb. 15. Hon Mark Brown, Deputy Prime Minster of Cook Islands, George Angene, Minister of Cultural Development, Hon Vaine Mokoroa, Minister of Youth and Sports and many other Cook Island politicians attended the event.
Hon Mark Brown made the speech
The wonderful performances at the National Auditorium of Cook Islands
During the tour, the art troupe went to New Lands College and Queen Margret School, two local schools in Wellington, to give performance and introduce Chinese traditional culture to local students. During their stay in Cook Islands, they also went to a local school aided by Chinese government and were warmly welcomed by people there.
The art troupe went to a local school in Wellington
Students and staff welcomed Beihang art troupe with local custom
Beihang troupe members sent Chinese paper cutting to local students
Students bid farewell to the troupe
Speaking of the art tour, Beihang art troupe members felt really proud and honored to bring splendid Chinese culture to Chinese and foreign people abroad. “It’s really happy to give performance featuring Chinese characters for the locals in New Zealand and Cook Islands as well as Chinese people there.” said Xiao Hong, Secretary of Youth League Committee of Beihang University. “We hope more and more foreign people can enjoy and appreciate the charm of Chinese culture. Also, we expect to explore and discuss the cultural diversity with people from different parts of the world.”
Reported and edited by Shi Yue
Reviewed by Xiao Hong
Translated by Xiong Ting