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"China meets America" Culture Festival builds platform to communicate


11:10, July 24, 2012

China meets America in New York! At the Chinese Culture Festival Concert this month, at Manhattan's Lincoln Center, American musicians and Chinese performers from around the world came together for a spectacular song and dance collaboration.

A final practice, a touch-up and a taste of what's to come from members of a choir that spans three continents, Guangzhou, China, Sydney, Australia, and New York, U-S-A. They're part of an ambitious festival to bridge cultural gaps using the power of music.

Jian Wang, the organizer of "China meets America" Culture Festival, said, "Music is the best form of communication with no language barriers everyone understands it. We want to use music to build a platform and bridge, for China, America and Australia to gather in New York using music to communicate and foster friendship and understanding."

The international voices opened their performance with a song from China. The cultural exchange also saw performances from American musicians including this quartet playing the viola de gamba a traditional Western string instrument. But a big highlight was a piano duet by twin sisters Caroline and Elizabeth Ruggiero, whose heritage also crosses the continents.

Willian Ruggiero, a parent, said, "Our daughters are half Chinese and I'm of Italian descent so we're bringing a little bit of Europe into this festival too."

But the performance that truly brought these cultures together? The famous theme song from American film The Godfather, performed by Wang Yiru on the Chinese yangqin to rave reviews. The woman that played the Godfather, I just thought that was fabulous.

And the concert has just wrapped up. For many ethnic Chinese in the audience, this was a chance to revisit familiar sights and sounds. But for others, it was also an opportunity to visit China without even leaving Manhattan.


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