The Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe provided "cultural and artistic performances celebrating and expressing Chinese traditional ethnic culture including vocal and instrumental music, opera, drama, and dance" at a special performance on October 5th.
The internationally acclaimed Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe visited the Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University. Previously, the troupe has given national television performances in China, made special appearances at the Grand National Theater, the Beijing Music Hall, and the National Stadium, and toured across Asia with shows in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Their appearance in Cleveland was sponsored by the Confucius Institute, Cleveland State University, and the Confucius Institute headquarters in China.
The ensemble was created by the Beijing Haidian district Culture Commission. The official mission of the group is "to promote national culture, disseminate elegant arts."
In addition to a fabulous assortment of artistic styles the costume were of rich, vibrant colors creating exactly the mood the accompanying music demanded.
Master of Ceremonies Wu Feng kept the show moving and helped the audience anticipate and appreciate each piece. Wu Feng is an Associate Professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In his introduction, Wu Feng told of the 5,000 years of culture and 56 nationalities in China and how Beijing is the center of that culture.
Be sure to watch the videos full screen.
Master of Ceremonies Wu Feng
The show started with a dance "The Waterfall of Everwhite Mountain", with lead dancers Chen Lizhi and Yan Heping. If you walked in late, you probably would not have known this was a dance and instead thought it was a water show. Graceful, perfectly timed movements transported the viewer to the Mountain to experience the glorious waterfall.
The Waterfall of Everwhite Mountain by Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe
Wang Yan then performed two operatic performances. The first was Marshal Mu Guiyang. Her voice and costumes were strong and dynamic and she masterfully carried out both.
Her next piece told the story of Facial Makeup and Masks.
Wu Feng explained the meaning of the different colors:
- Red indicates a positive character. Red can also mean prosperity, loyalty, courage and heroism. Red shows intelligence and bravery.
- Purple is sometimes used as a substitute for red. In its own right, purple can represent justice and sophistication.
- Black means that the character is neutral. Black also indicates impartiality and integrity.
- Blue faces are also an indication of neutrality. In addition, blue can show stubbornness, astuteness and fierceness.
- Green shows that the character is violent, impulsive and lacks restraint.
- Yellow tells the audience that the character is cruel. Yellow can also mean evil, hypocritical, ambitious or sly.
- White faces indicate that the character is evil and hypocritical.
- Gold and silver show the audience that the character is a god or a demon. The character also may be a ghost or a spirit. Gold and silver symbolize mystery.
Next up was the "Voice of Angels Choir", an aptly named choir of young boys with beautiful, innocent, powerful voices. They accompanied dancer Wang Yuxuan with the the very famous Chinese poem "Tranquil Nights". Pianist Shu Suping provided beautiful melody to make the performance complete.
Pianist Shu Suping
Voice of Angels Choir and Wang Yuxuan
Shu Suping then played while the Voice of Angels Choir sang Josh Groban's popular western pop-hit "You Raise Me Up".
The Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe performed a Tibetan Dance called 'The Sky Road Dance.' The lead dancers were Yan Heping and Wang Ying.
Kent State University student Yang Jin performed a pipa solo called 'Ambush from All Sides' as a special guest of the Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe.
The pipa is a traditional Chinese four stringed instrument, similar to a lute, that is plucked.
Dancer Wang Yuxuan performed the Spirit of the Peacock Dance.
12 year old Qi Shijun performed on the Chinese bamboo flute a song called 'Jasmine'.
Dancer Chen Lizhi performed the classical Chinese dance 'Singing in the Spring.'
Singer Wang Jianguo sang Toselli's Italian classic 'Serenata Rimpianto.'
He then performed the popular Italian Neapolitan classic 'O Sole Mio.'
Dancers from the Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe performed a Mongolian minority dance called 'Hulunbeier Prairie'. The lead dancer was Wang Yuxuan.
Next, Wang Yan performed a traditional Beijing dialect narrative story accompanied by a drum.
Troupe dancers performed an Uygur dance called 'Spinning in the Sea of Dreams.' The lead dancers were Chen Lizhi and Yan Heping.
No one wanted the night to end - it was one stunning performance after another, but end it did, with the entire ensemble onstage for Auld Lang Syne conducted by Art Director Xing Shanshan with pianist was the pianist was Sun Xiazhou.
Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe grand finale
At the end of the performances, Wu Feng gave some brief closing remarks.
The Confucius Institute did it again with this fabulous production. It was free and open to the public and approximately 600 people were wise enough to take advantage of the opportunity. Others missed out on a wonderful evening.
Congratulations and thanks to The Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe. Congratulations also to Dr. Haigang Zhou, Dr. Wenzheng Liu and Dr. Anthony Yen all of the Confucius Institute for yet another wonderful and inspirational presentation.
Beijing Sea-Dream Art Troupe
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