Chinese dance troupe to visit BGSU

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As part of a cultural exchange, a Yanshan University group from China will perform at Bowling Green State University and other northwest Ohio universities beginning March 12.

Five faculty members and eight students from Qinhuangdao, China’s Yanshan University Performance Troupe will present “Whispering Dreams of a Spring Breeze,” demonstrating Chinese dance, music and martial arts.

The BGSU performance is at 7:30 p.m. on March 12 in Kobacker Hall of Moore Musical Arts Center. Other performances are scheduled at University of Toledo and Lourdes University.

The troupe’s visit is part of a “Sister City” relationship between Toledo and Qinhuangdao, China, which both are named a “Glass City.”  The two cities became sister cities in 1985.

Dr. Joseph Chao, Narayen Endowed Associate Professor and chair of the BGSU Department of Computer Science, leads the local Qinhuangdao Sister City Committee. The purpose of the presentation is to “spread goodwill and share our cultures with one another,” Chao said.

Chao and College of Music Dean William Mathis visited Yanshan University in December to plan for the cultural exchange performance.

“During my visit to Yanshan University I had the personal honor see a rehearsal of several of the numbers that will be performed here at BGSU,” Mathis said. “I was thoroughly taken with the beauty and expressive display of both the traditional Chinese music and dance. Their presentation on our campus and the cultural exchange with our students will be a wonderful experience for all who are involved.“

Fourteen presentations are included in the performance with themes of ancient charm, diversified ethnicity and unique folk arts. The performances will include vocal soloists, Chinese dance, Chinese zither music, a Taichi fan performance, Chinese fiddle (er hu), and Southern Fist martial arts performance.

Performers from Yanshan University are Xin Zhao, vocal professor; Nuan Wen, Chinese zither lecturer; Lingyun Ma, associate professor; Wennan Zhao, lecturer; Yiwei Wang, a senior student majoring in Pipa; and members of the Art Ensemble Dance Performers, Huiqian Cai, Zi Tian, Shihao Guo, Yang Zheng, Yao Jia and Xirong Zhang,

Tickets are $5 per person and available at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Information Desk, 419-372-2741, or at the door the night of the performance. The additional performances are at 7 p.m.March 14 in the Doermann Theatre at University of Toledo, and at 7 p.m.March 19, in the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University.

While in northwest Ohio, in addition to the performances, the group will attend a Toledo Symphony Orchestra concert at the Toledo Museum of Art, visit the Toledo Chinese School at Maumee Valley Country Day School, attend Dawn Upshaw’s BGSU concert and the dress rehearsal of the BGSU opera “Cosi fan tutte.”

“These exchanges are important to foster better understanding of each other, to become more comfortable with each other, and promote mutual respect,” Chao said.