Language Makes Life Better
—Closing Party of the 1st National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion in USA Concludes

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Alfred University [Time]    2017-11-16 09:39:30 

On November 3rd, 2017 local time, the closing party of the 1st National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion in USA sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU) was successfully held at Miller Theater in Alfred University. The party was presented by concert under the theme of “Language Makes Life Better.”

The theme of the party is “Language Makes Life Better”

Rick Stephen, Provost of Alfred University, Zhang Qiyue, Chinese Consul General of the Chinese Consulate General in New York, Xu Yongji, Education Counselor of the Chinese Consulate Gen-eral, Lai Xulong, Vice-president of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Li Yiling, Chair-man of UNESCO Association of New York, Wilfred V. Huang, CIAU Foreign Director, Yu Jijun, CIAU Chinese Director and nearly 100 experts, scholars and teachers specialized in Chinese im-mersive teaching from all over the country were present at the activity. More than 600 teachers and students of Alfred University and community members also participated in this marvelous event with a fully-packed venue.

Rick Stephen delivering a welcome speech

Wu Zhongbei, Vice Director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University said in her speech that since 2010, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University has set up Chinese music and guzheng courses in cooperation with the School of Art, and these courses are widely welcomed by students. From then on, both sides have held large-scale Chinese concerts every year, which has become an important window for the Confucius institute to introduce Chinese arts and culture to the local communities. Through various forms of Chinese performing arts, the concerts presented the Chinese teaching achievements made by the Confucius Institute, and showcased students’ and local people’s fondness of Chinese culture.

The concert performance this year had an enormous cast, including the choir, dancing troupe and guzheng orchestra of the Department of Performance and Art in Alfred University, the dancing troupe of China University of Geosciences, a Chinese university in cooperation with the institute, and Tai Chi class for pupils of the affiliated Chinese teaching school districts, with a total number of over 150 performers participating in the performances.

Dragon and lion dance performance by the Chinese class in Alfred University

A Confucius Institute teacher simulating Chinese immersive class

Students from guzheng class of Alfred University playing the ensemble of “The Smiling, Proud Wanderer”

Alfred University student Charles playing a solo of “Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water”

Wu Zhongbei playing “Fighting Typhoon”

The lively and jubilant dragon and lion dance performance by the teachers and students from the Chinese class kicked off the party. The students’ excellent performances won applause and cheers from the audience. Over 30 children from the Chinese immersive class in the Geneva City School District in New York were singing and dancing on the stage and also performed an on-site simulation teaching with teachers of the Confucius Institute, which received the audience’s warm applause. The guzheng class of Alfred University also brought wonderful performances, such as “The Smiling, Proud Wanderer”, “Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water”, “Fighting Typhoon”, which constituted an acoustic feast for the audience; The Dancing Dragon performance given by Tai Chi class of the Confucius Institute showed the charm of Chinese martial arts; students from the Chinese class in Alfred University recited the Prelude to Water Melody written by Chinese Song Dynasty poet Su Shi with the accompaniment of a Chinese folk song; Moreover, the three Chinese songs Heaven Road, Pastoral Song and Youth Dance from the Chinese choir of Alfred University were also well-praised by the audience

The Tai Chi class in Alfred University performing Dancing Dragon

The Chinese class in Alfred University reciting Prelude to Water Melody

The Choir of Alfred University singing “Heaven Road”

Accompanied by the song “the Forbidden City” with an evident classical poetic flavor, the Chi-nese and American models dressed in cheongsam came over slowly, holding calligraphy works. These calligraphy works were provided by famous calligrapher Li Guodong and the dance was choreographed by Li Yiling. The combination of calligraphy and dance showed the unique charm of Chinese calligraphy to the audience. In addition, the song Running Stream sung by Lu An, a professor of the Music Department in Alfred University, accompanied by guzheng played by Wu Zhongbei, was a perfect combination of Chinese and Western elements filled with elegant charm; Chen Wenwen, a voluntary Chinese teacher played a lute (pipa) tune of “Ambush on all side”, which was sonorous, powerful, moving and sad in its dramatization. The “Dragon Boat Tune” performed by the postgraduates dancing group of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) also made the audience feel like being in an entirely new world.

Calligraphy fashion show Ink Rhyme

Lu An and Wu Zhongbei co-performing “Running Stream”

The postgraduates dancing troupe of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) performing “Dra-gon Boat Tune”

Participants at the party

The performance really wowed the audience. Zhang Qiyue spoke highly of these performances and also extended her thanks to the Confucius Institute at Alfred University for its great contribu-tions to the promotion of Chinese culture abroad.

After the performances, South Korean student He You said, “In order to perform well, we started practicing dragon dance and reciting poem every week two months ago. Although the process was not easy, we were quite happy."

Story by Tong Menglin; photos by: Wang Ping