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Dance and rap show celebrates Sichuan culture in Australia

(People's Daily Online)    13:32, September 29, 2017

Dance and rap show celebrates Sichuan culture in Australia (People's Daily Online/ Ji He)

In their baseball caps, oversized tops and saggy pants, a group of four Chinese young men sang an English rap song to show a new side of China at Wesley Conference Center in Sydney on Sept 26.

The rap song, This Is China, wowed more than 500 audiences by incorporating traditional Sichuan cultural elements and the outlook of the young generation of China.

Created by the hip-pop group called “Tianfu Music” from Sichuan province, the song “aims to address some common prejudices against China and tries to present a new image of the country to the world”, according to Li Yijie, a member of Tianfu Music.

Apart from touching on achievements such as mobile payment and Shenzhou spacecrafts, the rap song is also filled with Chinese cultural elements, including Chuanju Opera, giant pandas and the art of bianlian, an ancient dramatic form of mask changing.

This is China is one part of WE, a contemporary dance and rap show, hosted by China Cultural Centre in Sydney and Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture. This month sees China Cultural Centre in Sydney present the Sichuan Culture Month, an elaborately curated program showcasing the abundant culture of Sichuan province.

“The three rap songs we sang tonight all embody Sichuan cultural elements. And we really hope that after watching the music and dance show, Australian people can cultivate a better understanding of China from our young generation’s perspective,” Li Yijie told the People’s Daily Online Australia.

Rap music aside, contemporary dance performances reviewing and exploring the real life in modern society is another part of the WE show.

In the opening performance Red and Black, the dancers wore Chinese traditional black lapel and held the red silk fan. The black depicts calmness and moderation, while the red represents boldness and passion, and the strong contrast of the colors red and black indicates that there is no place without splendidness, according to the Sichuan Contemporary Dance Company, which is affiliated to Sichuan Sing & Dance Troupe Co., Ltd.

And in the closing dance WE, with the methods of stream of consciousness, dark stage lighting, grimace and sharp music, the dancers tried to help audiences escape from their daily pressure of work and family and go back to their carefree childhood when they were rebellious, and quarreled and fought with their friends.

“Tonight’s contemporary dances were not limited to Chinese cultural elements, but rather, they took the contemporary dance as a universal expression to approach to Australian audiences,” Han Xiaohu, head of modern dance group at the Sichuan Contemporary Dance Company, said. “By exploring anxiety and distress in modern society and amplifying the sentiments between people, our dance performances are committed to leave space for audiences to ponder. This, in fact, reflects the attitudes of inclusiveness and openness in Chinese arts.”(People's Daily Online/ Bowen Chen)

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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