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Folk performances staged in Chicago to celebrate Chinese New Year

Print Share Updated: 2019-02-18 19:33

Two performing troupes, organized by China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd., staged a concert in Chicago on Feb 10 local time, enlivening the city with festive Chinese folk performances.

The China National Peking Opera Company (CNPOC) presented several popular scenes from the Peking Opera repertoire, namely Sanchakou (Divergence), Changshengdian (Palace of Eternal Life), and Naotiangong (Making Havoc in Heaven).

In the Changshengdian selection, famous Peking Opera performers Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu portrayed Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and his beloved concubine Yang Yuhuan in a story focusing on their everlasting love.

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Artists Li Shengsu (R) and Yu Kuizhi (L) perform at the concert in Chicago on Feb 10. [Photo/Xinhua]

Performers also brought another classic Chinese story, Naotiangong, to the stage. It is an extract from Journey to the West and follows the adventures of the Monkey King with instrumental music, vocal performance, dance and acrobatics.

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Performers stage a classic episode of the Peking opera Naotiangong at the concert in Chicago on Feb 10. [Photo/Xinhua]

In addition to opera shows, CNPOC hosted lectures and various activities to promote the traditional folk arts.

Chimes from Hubei province made their debut at the scene of the Happy Chinese New Year in Chicago. In a tribute to the ancient musical instruments from the Tomb of Marquis Yi of State Zeng in Suizhou, Hubei province, the China Hubei Provincial Performing Arts Group staged a polished performance with a collection of Chinese characteristic musical instruments, such as Xiao (a vertical bamboo flute), Se (a twenty-five-stringed plucked instrument) and chimes.

Besides two Chinese national orchestral classics Moonlit River In Spring and Silk Road, two chimes performances Harmonious Tune from Eight Musical Instruments in Ancient Orchestra and Jingchu Minor highlighted the concert and reflected the splendid achievements of the Jing-Chu culture.

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Musicians in traditional costume perform at the concert in Chicago on Feb 10. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese Ambassador to the Unitd States Cui Tiankai traveled from Washington to Chicago for the performance and sent his New Year greetings to over 2,000 viewers at the Chicago Symphony Center. Acting Chinese Consul General in Chicago Liu Jun and Jeff Alexander, president of Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, attended the event as well.

After the show, the two performing troupes also gave performances in Detroit, Muscatine, San Diego and Orange County and ended their US tour after Lantern Festival, which fell on Feb 19 this year.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Chinese performing troupes received invitations from local tourism authority, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to host New Year concerts in the United States.

China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. has been cooperating with organizations, local authorities and orchestras in Chicago, Detroit and Muscatine to organize and dispatch orchestras from China for New Year concerts since 2015, with the aim of promoting China’s tourism resources and giving a global presence to Chinese culture.