Last weekend the Chinese Students’ Association’s week-long celebration of the Chinese New Year culminated in China Nite, a show held in Strong Auditorium that showcased Chinese dance and song.
The evening combined traditional Chinese cultural events with modern renditions of dance and song. The event opened with a Lion Dance, a traditional way to celebrate the New Year. In the dance, the lions are given lettuce to eat, which is a symbol of longevity for the New Year.
UR students were assisted by members of the Rochester Shaolin Training Academy, who performed the background music and assisted in acting out the lion’s motions.
Two other traditional Chinese dances that were performed at China Nite were the ribbon dance and the fan dance.
Both were beautifully performed, and the motions of the fans and ribbons highlighted the graceful movements of the dancers.
In the fan dance, the women’s simple outfits let the movements of the fans be the center of attention, and allowed the dancers to display their skill.
Another highlight of the evening occurred when Dr. Rujing Han of Strong Memorial Hospital sang two traditional Chinese opera pieces, “At the Moment” and “The Story of the Red Lantern.” Han sings on a volunteer basis, and first began performing with CSA two years ago.
A fashion show of traditional women’s clothing broke up the line of more theatrical performances. The sumptuous fabrics and attractive models were an eye-pleasing addition to the line-up.
The co-ed a cappella group After Hours performed U2’s hit “Beautiful Day,” which they followed with “Red Sun,” which was performed in Chinese. This older tune was a big hit with the crowd, many of whom seemed to really appreciate After Hours’ efforts to learn a new language just for this performance.
Another strong musical performance came from the band “Duration.” The vocalist, junior Hao Min Su, wooed the audience with his pleasing voice, and the band put on a compelling performance playing five songs, some of which were original compositions.
Senior Jess Yu, president of CSA, was pleased with the event. With 200 people in attendance, turnout was lower than last year’s performance, but Yu still believes “it went really well.”
China Nite was one of the last events of a week of programming for the Chinese New Year. Other events included a dinner, an after-party and movie screenings.
DeSantis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.