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Performing Arts, Confucius Institute celebrate Chinese Culture
10/16/13

The Confucius Institute at Alfred University (AU) will be promoting Chinese Cultural Day with AU’s Performing Arts Division by presenting a variety of performances/activities on campus Friday, Oct. 25. All are open to the public free of charge.

Starting at 1 p.m., the day’s activities will kick off with a Dragon Dance by Chinese 101 and International Student and Scholar Organization students between Powell Campus Center and Howell Hall. The Dragon Dance is a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture. It is most often seen in festive celebrations. Dragons are believed to bring good luck to people, together with great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom, and auspiciousness. During the Dance, 12-14 performers will hold the dragon up by poles. They will raise and lower the Dragon making the movement as wind through the crowds to the sounds of horns, drums, and gongs. 

This will be followed at 1:30 p.m., in the same location, with a Taichi performance by the Alfred Taichi Group. The Taichi Group of Alfred Community will practice different sets of Taichi: the 24-step sequence, the Five-Animal Exercises, and the Youlong Quan. The slow, soft, and continuously flowing movements  of Tai Chi is not only an ancient martial art, but also has been widely acknowledged as an effective health exercise, and the cultivation of one’s internal energy. The number of Taichi learners in the Alfred area is over 60. 

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. there will be a Chinese tea ceremony and tasting in the Knight Club, Powell Campus Center, as well as Chinese Calligraphy demonstration.

The day will conclude with the “East Meets West” concert in the Miller Theater at 7:30 p.m. followed by refreshments. The free concert will consist of music by the AU Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Chorus, and Daisy Wu of the Confucius Institute on guzheng.

The AU Orchestra is directed by Associate Professor of Music and Strings Dr. Lisa E. Lantz. Within the community, Lantz is the music director of the Alfred University Youth Orchestra, Junior Strings, and heads the Beginning String program, all of which she founded upon her arrival at Alfred University. An experienced orchestral and chamber musician, Lantz has performed with many regional orchestras including the Southern Tier Symphony and The Orchestra of the Finger Lakes.

Lantz earned a doctoral degree in musical arts from The Ohio State University, a specialist certification in music performance and a master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor of music degree from the University of Toledo, Ohio.

The chorus is directed by Dr. Luanne Crosby, professor of voice and chorus. She holds a doctor of musical arts degree in vocal performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music/Case Western Reverse University and bachelors of music and masters of music degrees from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She has sung professionally with the Cleveland Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, and Fredonia Chamber Players. She has been the invited guest director for country and all-state choirs across New York and Pennsylvania.

Daisy (Zhongbei) Wu is a music instructor for the Confucius Institute at AU. She is an associate professor of musicology at Hunan University of Commerce, Changsha, Human Province, China, a visiting professor and an award-winning guzheng player. Wu earned a master’s degree in musicology from the Graduate School of the Chinese National Academy of the Arts and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the Hunan Normal University.

The Confucius Institute at AU was established in 2008 with the support of the Office of Chinese Language Council International. It is dedicated to promoting the study of Chinese language, culture, ethics, and philosophy.