Chinese New Year: Year of the Dog


Submitted Photo

The Living Stream Dance Troupe perfoming the “Peacock Dance” for the Chinese New Year Celebration.

This year’s Chinese New Year occurs on February 16, 2018; however, it was celebrated this weekend at the Center for the Arts on the UW-Platteville campus. This was the 10th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration hosted by the Confucius Institute. This is the Year of the Dog. According to Dr. Mei Reeder, Director of the Confucius Institute, “The overall purpose of the Chinese New Year celebration is to foster the understanding of Chinese culture through one of the major holidays celebrated not only in China, but also worldwide. The Confucius Institute strives to serve as the bridge to connect our campus community and China.”

Traditional Chinese finger food was served at the entrance, and there were also souvenirs available for purchase. The celebration performance began with “Lion Dance” performed by the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association and a welcome was given by the Chancellor’s wife, Mrs. Audra Shields. Two dances were then performed by the Living Stream Dance Troupe, a “Jasmine Dance” and “Long Sleeves Dance.” Both have traditional Chinese dance roots and integrated contemporary moves to help them become more modern.

A song named “Friends” was performed by members of the community followed by the “Tibetan Folk Dance” performed by a solo dancer, a martial arts demonstration by the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association, “Peacock Dance” by the Living Stream Dance Troupe, “Tango” performed by a solo dancer, “Handkerchief Dance” performed by the Living Stream Dance Troupe,  “Lion Dance” by the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association and three different types of Tai Chi demonstrations performed by students and community members. The specific Tai Chi demonstrations shown were the “24 Form,” “Tai Chi Sword” and “Long Fist.”

“Every year we look at the talents we might have within and from the community to decide what we put on the stage. For example, we had elementary students in the past that sang and performed Tai Chi on stage, and this year we have a Kung Fu master with his students from HHP 1400 course to perform ‘Long Fist’ with him on stage.  We had community members that were interested in singing, so we encourage them to get on stage to sing Chinese songs to showcase what they’ve learned from the Chinese language classes. I must mention that the CNY event would not be the same without the Lion Dance troupe (Zhongyi Kungfu Association) and the Folk Dance troupe (Living Stream Dance Co.) from Madison, WI. They are such pleasant artists to work with every year,” Dr. Reeder said.