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Chinese arts troupe impresses with 11-act performance

Correction appended.

The internationally acclaimed Zhejiang Wenqin Arts Troupe held its Chinese New Year performance Jan. 28 to celebrate the Year of the Dragon in the Rhode Island School of Design Auditorium.

The troupe, which is composed of symphony and keyboard orchestras as well as vocal, dance, drama and traditional Chinese music teams, put on an 11-act performance, including a particularly impressive calligraphy demonstration. The troupe showcased both contemporary and traditional songs and dances.

The strong sound of percussion instruments pervaded each musical performance with complicated, synchronized drum rhythms, and the drummers' hands moved in unison at impressive speed and with great force.

The performers' costumes were beguiling. Singers and dancers wore traditional Chinese costumes called qipao stitched with intricate designs and details in vibrant colors. They carried parasols that twirled in time with the music. The dancers' coordination coupled with the fantastic costumes transported the audience to another world.

"I felt like I was in China," said Emily Simmons '12. The troupe's performance — a Year of China event — was part of its tour of the northeast and sought to showcase important aspects of Chinese culture.  

"I am a Chinese American, so it is great to be here," Providence local Kimberly Cheng said. "I am glad schools like Brown foster these cultural exchanges."

An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that the performers of the Zhejiang Wenqin Arts Troupe wore kimonos during their Jan. 28 performance. In fact, the traditional Chinese costume worn by members of the troupe is called a qipao. The Herald regrets the error.


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