President of Liberia attends CI cultural tour performance of “Sincerity, Practical Results, Affinity and Good Faith: Let Dreams Come True”
On Feb. 23rd, 2016, local time, at the invitation of the Chinese Embassy in Liberia, the Chinese culture tour performance, hosted by Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia and Zhejiang International Studies University, was held at the City Hall of Monrovia, capital of Liberia.
Accompanied by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue, Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf arriving at the venue of the event
Around 500 people attended and watched the performance, including Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf, Vice-President Joseph Boakai, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Zhang Yue, representatives of the Liberian government, foreign diplomatic envoys in Liberia, representatives of peace-keeping forces in Liberia, representatives of Chinese enterprises, as well as the local public.
Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf delivering a speech at the event
While addressing the event, President Sirleaf extended her welcome to the art troupe and highly commended this project of cultural exchange. She said that the art troupe not only showcased the Chinese culture and arts to the Liberian people, but also boosted the profound friendship between China and Liberia. She thanked personnel from all sides for their efforts in preparing for this show both on the stage and at back stage. She encouraged both Chinese and Liberian youths to make best use of such exchange opportunities to further understand the unique culture, tradition and history of the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Zhang Yue making his remarks at the event
Ambassador Zhang Yue emphasized that “amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states”. Since China and Africa both have their own unique civilizations, cultural and people-to-people exchanges are the foundations of harmonious coexistence between the different civilizations of the two countries. He reiterated the great significance of the “commitment to mutually enriching cultural exchanges” as one of the five major pillars in China-Africa relations. He also spoke highly of the fruitful cultural exchange events held by the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia in local communities. He said that the Embassy will always support the work of the Confucius Institute like before and make continuous efforts to promote the cultural exchanges between youths of the two countries.
Amid the sounds of gongs and drums, two auspicious lions were dancing merrily on the stage, igniting enormous buzz at the event. The lyrics “One flick teasing peony, one sweep layering mountain ranges, one horizontal stroke long as the Great Wall, one vertical stroke strengthening the character” of the song and dance Dragon Script conveyed modern Chinese people’s deep affection for calligraphy, part of the dragon culture. When Taiji meets Pipa, their shared features of internal and external elegance and a perfect combination of softness and hardness brought to the audience a unique charm of “being apart without being loose in essence and being full without being overflowing”.
The dance Ink Rhythm demonstrated the unique charm of the classical dance and presented to the audience a world of flying Apsaras of the Dunhuang frescoes.
The Erhu solo of War Horses Galloping depicted the scene in which cavalrymen stationed on the prairie along the border of their motherland practiced hard in the military training in order to protect their motherland. The adept skills and state of being intoxicated of the performers greatly marveled the audience and led to rounds of applause.
The performance Chinese Wushu Spirit fully showcased various spectacular routines such as Nanquan (south fist), Zuiquan (drunken fist), Shuangdao (double sabres), Changgun (long cudgel) and Gedou (combating), which greatly fascinated the Liberian audience and pushed the event to its climax.
Group dance Vast Prairie
Poem recitation Looking up to the Starry Sky
Dance Moonlight over the Lotus Pond
Chorus performance We Are One Family, Tomorrow Will Be Better and A Grateful Heart
Teachers and students of the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia also staged some performances, among which were group recitation Looking up to the Starry Sky, dance Moonlight over the Lotus Pond, and songs We Are One Family, Tomorrow Will Be Better and A Grateful Heart. Their singing and dancing, showing both their vitality and tranquility, soon livened up the atmosphere and attracted waves of warm applause.
Students of the art troupe giving calligraphies as presents to the Liberian President, Vice-President and other guests
The Liberian President talking with teachers and students of the Confucius Institute
Zhang Yixin, a fourth-year student of music teaching at Zhejiang International Studies University, undertook several roles such as leading dancer, group dancer and calligraphy demonstrator at this event. She said when presenting her calligraphy of “Zhen Shi Qin Cheng” (sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith) to President Sirleaf, she felt herself as a glorious “culture envoy” and that the two-month rehearsal and persistence despite sickness were all worthwhile. This tour performance would certainly become the most highlighted experience of her university life. As a future teacher, she will share her own experience with the students and present a rather different Africa to them.
A group photo of performers and members of the transportation unit of the peacekeeping force
This tour performance was reported by Equatorial Guinea National TV Station, Cameroon National TV Station, Liberia National TV Station as well other local media.