INsite Magazine

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

Girls from HuaGen Chinese School do a Korean dance

This Valentine's Day will also mark the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Tiger, and as part of the Spring Festival, the Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars (FACSS) hosted its annual Chinese New Year Show at the Phillips Center.

From the serenity of the umbrella and fan dances, to the intensity of martial arts, to the dignity of opera, to the comedy of skits and xiangsheng (cross-talks), the celebration showcased diverse parts of Chinese culture. The performers ranged in age from the little girls of a Chinese school to college students doing martial arts and vocals, and even professional acrobats from Orlando.

The free show, with its mix of tradition and contemporary customs, attracted audience members of all ages, and filled about two-thirds of the Phillips Center. A special guest, Chinese Consul General Gao Yanping of Houston, attended the show. After giving a brief speech in Chinese, she wished everyone a "Happy Chinese New Year."

Performer from SinoElite Acrobats

While the show was in Chinese, the emcees briefly explained the acts in English for the audience. A few modern American songs were performed in English – Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” even turned up in a medley by UF’s Generation X song and dance group. Before the act about the importance of family, the hosts reminded the audience that the world is a family, and one of its members, Haiti, is suffering. Because the Chinese New Year falls on Valentine’s Day this year, the last two songs of the three-hour performance were about love.

--Bridget Higginbotham

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