Chinese performances bring cultures together
Published: Friday, January 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 03:01
This week, Oregon State University was honored to host a night of Chinese cultural immersion in collaboration with the Huaxia Orchestra of the Henan Museum. Arranged by the School of Arts and Communication, many OSU students, staff and community members gathered in the LaSells Stewart Center on Thursday for the event.
Throughout the evening, the Huaxia Orchestra performed and so did Kung Fu artists from the Shaolin Temple. Traditional music mixed with the sharing of ancient Chinese history to form a creative environment.
The Huaxia Museum, formed back in 2000, is known for being one of the oldest collections in China.
The performance took place in three parts, beginning with a presentation and concert of authentic ancient instruments. Some of the ancient instruments featured included the ancient Chinese bone flute and chime bells. Costumes worn by the performers and the instruments played were exact replicas of those found in ancient Chinese tombs.
A martial arts demonstration by Shaolin Temple Kung Fu artists followed the concert.
“Their Kung Fu is always fascinating to watch,” said Erin Sneller, music department publicity and events coordinator. “It’s very impressive and seems like a combination of martial arts and gymnastics.”
The Kung Fu artists finished their segment with the presentation of ancient and traditional weapons.
The event then concluded with a musical play about the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival. During this portion, the performers incorporated audience interaction with prizes for participants.
The travelling performance group consists of more than 20 dedicated performers between the ages of 14 and 45.
This show was the group’s second and final performance in Oregon, following a performance at Southern Oregon University earlier this week.
Steven Zielke, one of the head coordinators for the visit, has personally been to the Henan Province several times. Zielke has worked hard throughout his time at Oregon State to continue the long standing relationship Corvallis has with the Henan province to make events like this one possible.
“Our relationship with the Henan Province goes back more than a decade and has included numerous cultural exchanges,” Zielke said.
In the spring of 2011, Zielke conducted the OSU chamber choir in Henan province. He also helped coordinate a visit to Oregon State by the Henan Opera during the winter term of that year.
“We have hosted this group here in the past,” Sneller said. “But we have never done anything of this magnitude.”
Sneller was on many planning and advertising committees for the show and was pleased at the large turnout for the event, which included three of Oregon’s state representatives.
“This show is a representative of what Oregon State does best: demonstrate the importance of interpersonal communication between cultures,” said Corvallis’ state representative Sara Gelser during her opening speech at the event.
Sophomore Christine Thammasouk enjoyed the event, and says she has never been to anything like the Huaxia performance before.
“The whole thing was very exciting,” Thammasouk said. “There were new things going on all the time which made it a lot of fun to watch.
“My favorite part was definitely the Kung Fu performers. Their stunts were very impressive. I’d recommend that anyone come see this group the next time they’re around.”
For more information on this event, and to learn about other events being hosted by the department throughout the term, visit their website at oregonstate.edu/cia/music.
Lara von Linsowe-Wilson, news reporter