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'Cultures of China, Festival of Spring' charms Houston audience

By Chen Yu, Zhang Yongxing (Xinhua)

20:27, February 18, 2013

Hong Kong actor Kar-Ying Law (C) performs during a show by China's "Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" art group in Paris, capital of France, Feb. 16, 2013. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

A performing arts show from China to entertain overseas Chinese during the lunar new year was staged here Sunday and drew laughter and warm applause.

"Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" features Chinese folk songs, classic dances, magic, China's traditional talk show and Peking opera performances.

The program made comforting entertainment for home-sick overseas Chinese as well as Chinese culture-loving natives in America's fourth largest city.

The performances brought together about 30 Chinese artists, including a number of top-tier ones.

While traditional Peking opera pieces like "Farewell My Concubine" and "Judge Bao and the Qin Xianglian Case" reveal the charm of China's ancient cultural treasure, the talk show, "Glamour of Language," brought spectators on a tour to different Chinese provinces and experience different dialects.

The Chinese traditional dance drama "Thousand-hand Bodhisattva, " which has shone on numerous stages in China and overseas, bewitched the audience at Cullen Performance Hall of University of Houston with beautiful costumes, dreamy lights and intricate movements of performers' hands and bodies. Seen head-on, the arms of the in-line performers move in synchronicity with amazing precision and elegance.

"It's a superb show. We are so excited," said Liu Tao, chairman of the Shenyang Association of Houston. "We want to extend our heart-felt thanks to our motherland for sending such a performing group of top artists to us."

"Though we have lived abroad for years, our motherland and our compatriots at home have kept us in mind," Liu said. "In return for our countrymen's goodwill, we will try to excel in our work and meanwhile do our share to help promote China-U.S. relations."

Xu Erwen, Chinese Consul General in Houston, expressed gratitude in a speech before the show to the delegation of artists as well as the Chinese community, especially the show's local organizer, the Chinese Civic Center in Houston.

"I am so happy the delegation is visiting at a time when the Chinese-U.S. relationship is making steady progress and the cultural exchanges between the two countries are forging ahead," Xu said.

"I am more than confident that this delegation will not only provide a cultural feast for overseas Chinese and all friends in the southern part of the United States, but also will help further promote cultural exchanges between the two countries, " she said.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, U.S. congressman Al Green, and other U.S. officials sent congratulatory letters to the show, wishing it success and all Chinese people a fruitful new year.

"Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" is an important component of the "Cultures of China" series events sponsored by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of China and China Overseas Exchange Association. It is aimed at enriching overseas Chinese' lives during the lunar new year and promoting Chinese cultures worldwide.i

From 2009 to 2013, the show has visited 171 cities worldwide in addition to China's Hong Kong and Macao. It has received numerous accolades and compliments from both overseas Chinese communities and local mainstream societies.

During the Spring Festival holidays in 2013, 11 "Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" performing groups will travel abroad to stage an estimated 61 shows. After Houston, the show will visit another Texas city, Dallas.

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