In order to support the cultural activities of Confucius Institutes in various countries, give full play to the unique advantages of the Confucius Institutes as a comprehensive cultural exchange platform, and make foreign people understand Chinese culture better, entrusted by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Xiamen University(XMU) Art Troupe organized by Office of Confucius Institute Affairs toured the Confucius Institutes in the United States (Confucius Institute at California State University(Long Beach), Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Confucius Institute at Portland State University, Confucius Institute at the University of Oregon, Confucius Class at St. Mary's School, Confucius Institute at University of Utah, Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University) from September 18th to September 30th. They also presented a special performance to our American alumni there. At the same time, Zhang Yan, Secretary of the CPC XMU Committee, led a delegation to attend the 2018 Biennial Meeting of the American Alumni Association of XMU in the United States. The performance group had a cordial meeting with Zhang Yan.
The tour group was led by He Yuanzan, Party Secretary of Art College of XMU, and was directed by Li Xin, a teacher from Art College of XMU. The members of the art group were all composed of teachers and students in Art college. Among them, the Guzheng player Li Jing has won many awards at domestic and international music competitions and has held many personal music works concerts. She has also been invited to visit more than 20 countries and regions of Asia, Europe and America. The flute player Ye Feisheng is the chief Bamboo Flute player of the Xiamen Youth Chinese Orchestra. His performance has enjoyed high comments in Japan, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, the United States, Canada, Thailand, and many other countries.
The tour was strongly supported and helped by seven Confucius Institutes/Classrooms in the western United States. On the 20th, Chai Haiying, Education Consul of Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, and Cao Qian, Deputy Education Consul of Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, watched the performance in Confucius Institute at California State University(Long Beach). On the 28th, Ms. Li Renzhu, Education Consul of Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, watched the performance at San Francisco State University. In addition, the leaders of the universities, the Chinese representatives, business elites, mass media, Xiamen University alumni and local audiences attended the shows. Due to the distance, a group of 18 performers ran around day and night during the 12-day period, and totally performed 9 performances to more than 10,000 audiences. The venues for the performance covered cities, communities, universities, middle schools, primary schools, and even Preschool class.
In fact, Xiamen University has made considerable preparations for this tour. The performance gathered a variety of artistic expressions, showing the audience Erhu, Pipa, Yangqin, Guzheng, Bamboo Flute, Xiao and other musical instruments full of Chinese national characteristics, as well as Chinese martial arts, and folk songs and featured dance with rich regional characteristics.
The girls dressed in colorful Xinjiang national costumes joyfully performed the Xinjiang dance Why are the flowers so red?. Their varied dance moves show the rich western China exotic flavor; The group dance Hui Girl Style shows the hard-working and kindness of Hui'an women through the description of the life, labor and leisure scenes of women in southern Fujian(China); The group dance Flying Dragon and Leaping Tiger applies the elements of Chinese martial arts to the dance, and its traditional movements such as dancing swords, dancing red silk, big jumps, and lying clouds make the dance more enjoyable; The dance Beauty impressed people by Chinese classical charm. Holding fans in hand and then waving them freely, a group of pretty dancers shows the characteristics of both grace and strength, which is very attractive.
The Bamboo Flute solo Partridges Fly is one of the main representative songs of Jiangnan flute. The player Ye Feisheng used skillful techniques to outline the scenes of flying Partridges. The melody sometimes is light and soothing, but sometimes becomes strong and powerful, which is very fascinating; With the interpretation of the teachers and students, the classic Chinese folk music The Moon High Above seems to show the pictures of the rising and falling scenes of the moon in front of people's eyes, gorgeous and elegant; The folk music quintet The Moon Over a Fountain is familiar to many Chinese people. Its sorrowful and melodious tune is unfading and profound; The folk music ensemble A wonderful night in spring is very beautiful and lyrical. The beautiful rhythm and the simple and harmonious melody make it extremely fascinating.
Based on the Peking Opera’s “Erhuang” singing tone and integrated with Mei Lanfang School’s singing tune, the girl’s solo performance had interpreted different styles of the song “Ode to the Pear Blossom”, which makes it moving for audiences; The solo “A Glass of Mellow Wine” has a very strong rhythm, making audience can't help but clap their hands together; Dragon Boat Tune is filled with active interactions between the performer and audiences. Every show of the performances deeply impressed people and received enthusiastic applause from the audiences.
In order to get closer to the audience, the art group also designed different interactive sessions based on different audiences and stage venues. For instance, they invited the audience to learn Chinese sword dance or Yangko and handkerchiefs dance in the stage, they introduced and taught the audiences to learn to play Chinese folk instruments, and they also welcomed different Participants to try to sing Chinese folk songs so on and so forth. Those activities helped the audience well experience the infinite charm of Chinese national art.
The performances in the United States have been widely praised by audiences. Every time after the performances, there are always a number of audiences reluctant to leave for a long time, waiting to take photos with the performers. Many viewers said that they had truly experienced the great charm of Chinese culture and art through the wonderful performances. They hoped that the Confucius Institute could organize such activities more in the future so as to further promote Sino-US cultural exchanges.
It is reported that the Student Art Troupe of our school has already performed on behalf of Xiamen University to the Confucius Institutes in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Thailand, Nigeria, Libya, the Philippines, and other countries, winning a great response from the local. Those performances have not only demonstrated the spirit of contemporary Chinese college students but also contributed to a better understanding of Chinese culture for people from all countries.