College News

CCCC hosts Chinese cultural arts performance

Click to enlarge,  Performers from South-Central University for Nationalities present "Huayao Dance" in a style common among the Dai ethnic group in China's Yunnan Province.

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Performers from South-Central University for Nationalities present "Huayao Dance" in a style common ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Movements of the Huayao Dance, performed by Chinese artists visiting Central Carolina Community College, are not only beautiful and graceful, but meant to convey a sense of internal firmness and national strength.

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Movements of the Huayao Dance, performed by Chinese artists visiting Central Carolina Community College, ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Members of the audience went onstage to try some basic martial arts techniques led by Zhao Zan from the South-Central University for Nationalities during a cultural performance in Sanford.

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Members of the audience went onstage to try some basic martial arts techniques led by Zhao Zan from ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Dancers perform "Stone Man and Swan" during a free Chinese cultural program at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic & Conference Center. The dance is based on a legend from China's Kazakh ethnic group and expresses a longing for free and enthusiastic life.

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Dancers perform "Stone Man and Swan" during a free Chinese cultural program at the Dennis A. Wicker ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Among the musical performances during the celebration of Chinese culture and arts at Central Carolina Community College was a solo on pipa, a popular, four-stringed instrument played in China for more than 2,000 years.

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Among the musical performances during the celebration of Chinese culture and arts at Central Carolina ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  High flying leaps dazzled local audiences during a Tibetan group dance performed by artists from China's South-Central University for Nationalities on their two-week United States tour.

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High flying leaps dazzled local audiences during a Tibetan group dance performed by artists from China's ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  "Colorful China," a folk dance that opened the cultural exhibition at Central Carolina Community College, focused on some of the 56 ethnic groups that comprise the world's most populated country.

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"Colorful China," a folk dance that opened the cultural exhibition at Central Carolina Community College, ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Zhao Zan from South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan, China, performs martial arts set to music during a cultural exhibition at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic & Conference Center in Sanford.

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Zhao Zan from South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan, China, performs martial arts set ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  Dancers from South-Central University for Nationalities visited Sanford and Raleigh in mid-October during a two-week tour that included stops in Georgia, Virginia, New York, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

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Dancers from South-Central University for Nationalities visited Sanford and Raleigh in mid-October ... (more)

Click to enlarge,  "I Am Waiting for You in the Homeland of Tea," a folk song from China's Tujia ethnic group, was one of the musical performances by visiting Chinese artists during a cultural exhibition presented by the Confucius Classroom at Central Carolina Community College.

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"I Am Waiting for You in the Homeland of Tea," a folk song from China's Tujia ethnic group, was one ... (more)

10.22.2018Arts & EntertainmentCollege & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - An evening of lively, interactive entertainment from halfway around the world began not with the most refined art from a culture millennia old, but a simple folk dance called "Colorful China."

Dancers in bright, ornate costumes spun around the stage with what looked like unusually long sleeves floating through the wind while an audience of several hundred at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic & Conference Center on Oct. 15 appeared captivated by the artists from South-Central University for Nationalities.

Billed simply as "an exhibition of Chinese cultural arts," the free, 90-minute performance was arranged through the Central Carolina Community College Confucius Classroom, a partnership with North Carolina State University's Confucius Institute. The Institute works with the Chinese education ministry to promote an understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and culture.

The artists from Wuhan, a sprawling metropolitan region about a nine-hour drive west of Shanghai, are on a two-week tour of the United States, taking the stage at N.C. State's Stewart Theatre and other venues in New York, Wisconsin, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The group has toured over the last five years in countries across Europe and Asia.

Beginning the show with a folk dance was no accident. Pang Jianhua, Dean of International Education College and director of the troupe, said through a translator that China is a melting pot, much like the United States. What his troupe wanted to highlight during this tour was not China's best-known culture, like Beijing opera, but unique contributions made by some of the 56 ethnic groups comprising the world's most populated country.

After the opening folk dance, about a dozen more performances took the stage. Many of them were group dances, but the mix also included several solo presentations of music, face changing, and martial arts.

The first instrumentalist filled the civic center with sounds from Mongolian culture on the morin khuur, an instrument also known as the horsehead fiddle. With the sound box held between his legs and a bow in his right hand, musician Zhang Zhuo flung his fingers up and down the neck of his fiddle, pulling a wide range of frenzied notes out of just two strings.

The audience got involved a bit later, after Zhao Zan gave a traditional martial arts performance with elegant jumps and fighting techniques set to music. House lights went up and one of the masters of ceremonies asked for volunteers. After some initial hesitation, about a dozen locals stepped on stage. They learned a salute and some basic punches, mostly by watching the martial artist, but also with the help of some narration by Professor Yuehan Ma, instructor for CCCC's Confucius Classroom.

Professor Ma must have been encouraged by such a happy group. More than a week before the performance, she discussed why events like these were important, saying that language connects people across cultures, but art brings them even closer.

The evening's finale was introduced as "Tibetan Guozhuang Dance," a circle dance often performed during festivals. And by this time, even more in the audience were ready to get involved. When the request for volunteers came, people immediately rushed forward. All ethnicities. All ages. All walks of life. They joined hands and, following the lead of the Chinese performers, danced in circles, occasionally walking together toward the center of the circle and then back out again.

It was a final celebration that united neighbors with each other, and people from the Central Carolina area with their new friends from Wuhan. Even after the curtain call, many gathered on stage in small groups to exchange photos and hugs. In that moment, just as Professor Ma predicted, language and cultural barriers didn't seem to matter, and art was bringing everyone closer.

For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit the college website at www.cccc.edu.