SANFORD — Thrill at the brilliance and excitement of traditional Chinese performing arts as Central Carolina Community College presents the Xiamen University Student Art Group in performance Sunday, Feb. 20, in the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center.
The talented performers share authentic dances, costumes, instruments, and martial arts from Yunnan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and other areas of China in celebration of the Chinese “Year of the Rabbit,” which started Feb. 2.
The show includes musicians performing both ethnic Chinese works and America songs on traditional instruments such as the bamboo flute, dulcimer, lute, and urheen, a two-stringed violin. The dancers will perform to both classical and folk music.
“We are delighted to once again bring an international quality performance of Chinese culture to our area of North Carolina,” said CCCC President Bud Marchant. “The feedback we have received from previous events of this types indicates everyone is excited about these programs.”
The performance runs 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person. Seating is limited, but tickets can be reserved by calling (919) 718-7268. The Civic Center is located at 1801 Nash St.
This is the fourth in an ongoing series of Chinese performing arts events brought to the Sanford area through the college’s Confucius Classroom in partnership with North Carolina State University’s Confucius Institute. The groups performed at NCSU before coming to Sanford.
Previous productions were a show and reception with artists and calligraphers from Nanjing Normal University, a concert by the March Rain Ensemble, also of Nanjing Normal University, and a music, dance, and martial arts performance by Jishou University students and professors.
“Our Confucius Institute has been very glad to partner with CCCC through its Confucius Classroom and help bring these quality programs to the college,” said Anna Lamm, NCSU China Program director. “We see what a positive influence they have been and how enthusiastically the community has received them.”
In 2009, CCCC was the first community college in the nation to establish a Confucius Classroom. Under Visiting Professor Shuya Che, from Nanjing Normal University, students learn Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture.
Chinese is second only to English as an international language of business. It is North Carolina’s second-largest trading partner.
“Having the Confucius Classroom at our college enables us to educate our students for living and working in a closely interconnected world,” said CCCC President Bud Marchant, who brought the idea for the Confucius Classroom to the college when he became president in 2008. “It is also an important resource that helps connect the communities, governments and businesses in our area to China. Being able to bring these wonderful Chinese performances to our area is a major cultural bonus.”
The Xiamen University Student Art Group has been on tour in the eastern United States as part of a cultural outreach for the Year of the Rabbit by the People’s Republic of China’s National Office of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Han Ban). The group has already performed in Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Xiamen University is located in Fujian Province, on China’s east coast. It was founded in 1921 by Tan Kah Kee, an overseas Chinese leader. The government of the People’s Republic of China took over control of the university in 1937. The university enrolls more than 38,000 students in undergraduate through doctoral programs. Its motto is “Pursue excellence, strive for perfection.”