Hulusi performed for the first time in South Africa The “New Silk Road” Arts Troupe showcases Chinese culture
On May 15, 2016, upon invitation by the Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, renowned husili performer Mr. Li Chunhua, who is also Vice-President of the Chinese Society of Folk Music Society and professional hulusi and bawu committee member, and a China national first-tier performer, led the “New Silk Road” Hulusi Arts Troupe as they presented a marvellous feast for the eyes and ears at the university’s Baxter Theatre for over 700 students, teachers and other locals. This marks the first time that the art of the hulusi was presented in South Africa.
This event was hosted by Confucius Institute Headquarters, and co-organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Town, University of Cape Town International Department, and the “New Silk Road” Hulusi Arts Troupe.
Before the event officially began, local director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Cape Town Prof. Kalula gave a speech, in which he expressed his gratitude toward the performance troupe for visiting South Africa to share the outstanding traditional culture and folk music of China.
Ensemble performance of Wild Dance of the Gold Snake
Performance of The Fragrant Flowers of the Warm Spring
The concert began with the traditional Chinese song Wild Dance of the Gold Snake. Many songs were played, with performances featuring the seven-holed hulusi. In addition to traditional hulusi and wuba songs like The Charming Sound of the Wooden Drumsand Joyous Staccato Song, there were also new works of varying styles, including Ode to Mulan, The Flowers Smell So Lovely, Blue Sambhala, Lonesome Black Steed, The Snow Lotuses Are In Bloom, Pear Blossom Rain, and Broken Bridge and Waning Moon, as well as large-scale orchestral works created specifically for the seven-holed hulusi, such as Son of the Mountains, The Fragrant Flowers of the Warm Spring, and Hulusi Variation on ‘Horse Race’.
Ensemble performance of Joyous Staccato Song
Audience interacting with the performers on stage
Most of the songs performed at the concert were either written or rearranged by Mr. Li Chunhua, and performance formats included solo, ensemble and large ensemble. Also worth noting is that integrated with the music was traditional folk-style clothing, appealing to the audience’s visual senses as well.
interest in the art of the hulusi. One female audience member excitedly said, “It’s truly difficult to imagine that such a small Chinese instrument, in the performer’s hands, would be able to play such mesmerizing music, it’s absolutely amazing, and gave us an incredible and elegant musical experience.”
Mr. Li Chunhua, on behalf of the arts troupe, offered the Confucius Institute a seven-holed hulusi as a gift, which was accepted by the institute’s local director. Prof. Kalula said that he hoped to offer hulusi classes at the Confucius Institute, so that more people could study and come to understand the art of this instrument.
The concert attracted attention from various Chinese and local media outlets, including CCTV International Channel, ETV South Africa and The Cape Town Times, who performed on-the-spot interviews.