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College of Arts & Sciences
Confucius Institute

Confucius Institute at USC organized a culture experience activity in Spartanburg

On November 15th, 2017the Confucius Institute at USC organized a culture experience activity in the library of the Spartanburg High School. This is the first Chinese Culture event of the kind organized by Confucius Institute at USC for intermediate and high schools in the Spartanburg region. 24 people participated in the activity.

The activity started with a lecture entitling "Chinese Opera and Arts". Lin Ko, the lecturer, also a journalist for local Chinese newspaper in Columbia SC, elaborated the emergence, development and features of all sorts of opera arts with a focus on the birth, changes in time, separation of styles, facial masks, clothing regulations, performance tools, different roles, musical and singing tones of Beijing Opera. Ms Lin’s lecture was very descriptive, informative and to the point, giving the audience a clear and vivid picture of different aspects of the Chinese Opera Art aided by her use of PowerPoint, short videos and pictures. Ms Lin also gave short descriptions on other Chinese Opera Arts. She displayed the face-changing technique of the Sichuan Opera with background music called "Horse Racing" played by Erhu, a typical of Chinese musical instrument. 

During the lecture, Ms Lin often spent time engaging in interactive activities with the students. She guided the students in exploring the opera arts and asked them to try out different acts and hand-figures used regularly in the performances on stages such as walking, laughing, door opening, horse riding, boating, and fighting in battles. The interaction with students contributed to Ms Lin's descriptions and informative lectures.

Another interesting feature in the activity is facial painting. Two students volunteered to be painters while two others volunteered to be models. They used makeups of three colors to create Chinese opera style facial paintings. Due to time limitation, they were only able to create some touches of designs, however it is still an exciting experience for those who experienced Chinese opera for the first time. Both the cosmeticians and the models extended their satisfaction with their works and facial designs. Hence, all the students look forward to future activities that can help them experience more of Chinese culture.

This activity lends the participants a better understanding of Chinese opera arts and they were impressed with the exotic features of Chinese Opera and culture.