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Ending on an encore

By Lin Shujuan (China Daily)

14:45, March 06, 2013

Soprano Dong Wenhua sings The Story of Spring, which pays tribute to China's late leader Deng Xiaoping. (China Daily/Lin Shujuan)

Chinese performers receive overwhelming applause on the second last stop of an annual Lunar New Year global tour. Lin Shujuan provides the rundown in Perth, Australia.

Hong Quanlong says he does not believe people will get swollen hands from applauding too much.

On Sunday night, the Fujian native who moved to Perth, West Australia, in the late 1990s, clapped nonstop throughout a gala performance featuring China's finest singers and dancers at the city's Convention and Exhibition Center.

The performance, called Cultures of China, Festival of Spring, was part of an annual global performance tour launched by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of China's State Council to entertain overseas Chinese during the Lunar New Year period.

Since its launch in 2009, this is the first time the performance has come to Perth, home to an estimated 100,000 ethnic Chinese.

Originally programmed for approximately 90 minutes, the concert was extended to nearly three hours thanks to the constant cheers and applause from the audience. There are also shouts of encores for performing artists such as Chinese household name singers Dong Wenhua, Yan Weiwen and Cai Guoqing, as well as Peking Opera masters Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu.

"Now I know what's meant by 'one can't help oneself'," says Hong, who was among more than 2,200 audience members in the theater.

Perth is the performing troupe's last stop in Australia and also the end of their three-week tour that covered New Zealand and Australia.

The performers described the hospitality of the local Chinese audience as beyond expectations.

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