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College of Arts & Sciences
Confucius Institute

Lunar New Year Celebration at CI at UofSC and East Point Academy

Chinese lunar new year celebrations began with sumptuous artistic feasts in Columbia SC. Invited by CI at UofSC and the East Point Academy, professor Suosen Lv and Shijun Cheng, a couple from National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts brought here wonderful performances and informative lectures on Chinese operas. Columbia audiences of different age enjoyed the cultural atmosphere of rejoicing and spring festivity on performances offered by the two artists on four occasions and extended wide acclaims.

Suosen Lv is professor of the director department of National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. At age 5, he started learning and practicing Peking opera from his father, a professional Peking opera performer, and later contracted with a theater company when he was eleven. His performance involves in a number of traditional and modern plays. He directed and codirected more than ten plays with his representative works including the large-scale dance drama, Great Dunhuang, the large-scale Kunqu opera, Cross the East Sea, the Peking operas, Yandang Mountain, Fire Phoenix and Mulan, etc. One of his representative works includesIntroduction to Martial Arts of Chinese Opera. In 2019, Apprenticeship, a film he stared and directed, won the second prize at the China-Canada International Film Festival.

Shijun Cheng is a renowned actor as well as professor teaching in the Beijing Opera Department of National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. As a professional flute player, she could switch between Beijing opera, Kunqu opera and even folk music with graceful ease and her own musical interpretation while performing on the stage.

Their first performance was shown on Chinese New Year celebration at East Point Academy on January 24. The extraordinary flute song, Kingdom of Heaven in Kunqu opera Instrumental Love played by Professor Cheng brought back a strong traditional Chinese musical style, revealing a tranquil beauty of picturesque peony paintings made by six kids on the stage.

On that afternoon, Suosen Lv lectured  to  more than 100 students from East Point Academy on the martial arts practice of  “Wu-sheng” (warrior hero) in Peking opera and demonstrated various actions of Wu-sheng to them including steps of Wu-sheng, horse riding, sword dancing, and golden cudgel shaking. Students were encouraged to imitate his lively actions and raise questions on Chinese dramas and showed the greatest curiosities while watching his demonstration on how to bind the Big Belt, the waist belt on the costume of Wu-sheng.

In the evening, they joined a seminar and opera demonstration at Professor Shunde Ke's home by the invitation of the Chinese Culture Association in Columbia. Suosen Lv shared his experience of training foreigners to preform Peking opera in China and talked about how a novel drama was created to combine the best of Chinese and Western operas with incorporated work and efforts by many drama scholars and experts from different countries in the world. Then Lixue Lin, the hostess and a local drama fan, song for the guests Shrouded Robe, a piece in Kunqu opera Peony Pavilion in the melodious flute accompaniment by Professor Cheng. Yanhua Wang, a retired professor from Tsinghua University performed Spring and Fall Pavilion, an excerpt in Peking opera The Lucky Purse in the end.

On the evening of January 24, professor Suosen Lv and Shijun Cheng offered performances and made Peking opera demonstrations on the Chinese New Year's Gala held by the Chinese Christian Church in Colombia and won loudest applauds from the audience.