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WKU’s Confucius Institute hosts Spring Gala at BG Junior High

The Confucius Institute at WKU hosted a Chinese Spring Gala on Thursday afternoon (Jan. 23) in the auditorium of Bowling Green Junior High School.

The Chinese Opera Troupe from the Confucius Institute at Binghamtom University performed Jan. 23 at Bowling Green Junior High School.

The Chinese Opera Troupe from the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University performed Jan. 23 at Bowling Green Junior High School.

The year 2014 is the Year of the Horse by the Chinese calendar, and in honor of that fact, the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University’s Chinese Opera Troupe performed traditional acrobat skits, flute solos and singing performances to bring in the New Year. The CI at Binghamton University was formed in 2009, with the focus on Chinese opera. The Confucius Institute at Binghamton University has traveled all over the United States sharing the Chinese opera through music and dance.

The troupe performed for more than 600 students at Bowling Green Junior High school. The troupe took the stage with the first act was the Sichuan Opera face changing act. In contemporary opera, performers wave their arms and twist their heads, and their painted masks are changed again and again.

The Chinese Opera Troupe's performance included (top row) the Sichuan Opera face changing act and Chinese acrobatic plate spinning and (bottom row) an acrobatic act titled "Barrel Contortion" and songs by Zhang Hong.

The Chinese Opera Troupe’s performance at Bowling Green Junior High School included several acts. Top: Sichuan Opera face changing act and Chinese acrobatic plate spinning; bottom: “Barrel Contortion” and songs by Zhang Hong.

The second act was Chinese acrobatics plate spinning, a traditional acrobatic act dating back to the Han Dynasty. The performer spins and manipulates plates on long sticks without them falling or stopping the circular rotation.

The third act was a flute performance to the songs “Journey to Suzhou” and “Little Shepherd.” The songs are performed to show how a high level of skill on the dizi (Chinese flute) can beautifully decorate a melody.

The fourth act was Chinese acrobat titled “Barrel Contortion,” an extremely popular act where the performer moves in and out of a small barrel in various contorting moves, in which flexibility is a must to perform well.

The last act of the evening was the favorite act of the day. Zhang Hong took the stage and performed three beautiful songs in here mezzo-soprano voice. The performers were treated to a thunderous applause by the students and faculty of Bowling Green Junior High School.

The CI at WKU and Hanban, China’s Ministry of Education, work to promote understanding of the Chinese language and culture through children’s programming, training courses, cultural workshops and community events. Together, these organizations have introduced fully articulated K-16 instruction in Modern Standard Chinese into local school systems, serve as a regional center for Chinese teacher training and Chinese curriculum development, and build connections and partnerships between Kentucky and China.

For information about the CI at WKU, visit www.wku.edu/ci.

Contact: Betty Yu, (270) 745-2836; or Terrill Martin, (270) 745-2530.

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