People connect through culture

Updated: 2011-10-09 07:57

(China Daily)

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For two hours, the fascinated audience was treated to a performance that captured the essence of Chinese culture in songs and dances. The audience enjoyed every minute of the performance.

This was Sept 24, and the China Central National Performing Art Troupe was performing at a commemorative concert in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution. The location was in Honolulu, and the audience of 2,100 was mainly made up of Hawaiians with overseas Chinese antecedents.

The art troupe had left Beijing in early September, embarking on a tour of seven cities in North America, including Vancouver and Toronto in Canada and Washington DC, Houston and San Francisco in the United States.

"This is our first time staging concerts celebrating the anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution," says Deng Lanying, director of the troupe. "But, more importantly, we see it as chance to deepen the friendship with overseas Chinese. Many of them may not get a chance to go to China, so we bring the arts to them."

She says many of the performers suffered jetlag from the time difference, but they had been very excited to perform on these foreign stages, more so than at home. All members of the troupe, even those backstage, gave their best for the performance, she adds.

In addition to the popular concert, Hawaii also hosted the first viewing in the United States of photographs of historical and cultural significance from China.

The exhibition - 100th Anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution: Great Changes in the Capital, Beijing - debuted on Sept 23 and ran for a week at the Hawaii State Capitol Chamber Level.

The exhibition featured more than 100 rare photographs, according to Warren Luke, president of the Dr Sun Yat-sen Hawaii Foundation, which co-sponsored the event.

It will be transferred to the Hawaii Heritage Center for permanent display after the exhibition. Copies of the photographs were sent to Los Angeles, California for an exhibition that ended on Oct 2.

"This gift to Hawaii will provide a visual history of the Xinhai Revolution as well as the evolution of New China and its capital in Beijing," Luke says. "The people of Hawaii can learn about China's past as well as future."