Artists perform a traditional Shaoxing opera (also known as musical opera) at the Bonita Center for the Arts in San Dimas, Los Angeles County, USA on August 6, 2022. Photo credit: James Mao/Xinhua
Julia Pierrepont III
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — Over the weekend, hundreds of culture-minded people barged into the Bonita Center for the Arts in San Dimas in the San Gabriel Valley to enjoy an evening of traditional Chinese theatre.
Flocking to the auditorium on Saturday were little children in fairy party dresses, elegant mothers in silk embroidered cheongsams, and extravagant fathers on fun family outings.
Artists performed excerpts from traditional Shaoxing operas, also known as musical operas, to audiences for over two hours, including “Peony Pavilion” and “Butterfly Lovers.” Characters in gorgeous costumes sang with their signature high-pitched vocals, using graceful hand and body movements with comic lines.
Shaoxing opera is one of the most popular Chinese opera genres.
Organized by the Central American Chinese Musicians Association, the largest, most prestigious and professional association of Chinese musicians in North America, the event is the opening ceremony of the 5th American Legacy Festival, an international arts festival and competition, It will improve Chinese culture, Chinese and Western music and traditional arts, facilitate international communication, and provide a platform and stage for outstanding artists to demonstrate their talents.”
It aims to provide a high-profile stage for outstanding artists to showcase their diverse artistic talents, and for Chinese and Western artists to create and collaborate on traditional and new art forms together.
The festival committee has invited musicians, playwrights, artists, dancers and professors as guest performers and competition judges.
“We are proud to inherit the culture and art of China and the United States and contribute to the arts of the world,” said Ye Jin, vice president of the Central American Association of Chinese Musicians and pipa player, in a press release.
Traditional Chinese drama combines song, dance, music, poetry, acrobatics, colorful costumes, elaborate makeup and even martial arts, all of which require years of intensive effort to master. more research is needed. Musicians supporting the singer’s performance respond to synchronized cues from the performer, harmonizing and creating a subtle accompaniment to enhance the overall audience experience.
The festival competition committee hopes that the event will continue to foster traditional Chinese culture in the City of Angels, and that Chinese culture will “shine on the international stage and provide audiences with an unforgettable cultural and musical experience.” I hope to make it possible.
Driven largely by parents and grandparents, efforts are being made to reach out and re-engage younger generations of artists who tend to embrace more contemporary forms of art and culture such as TikTok, Instagram, movies and games. increase.
“I came here because I like beautiful costumes and exotic face paints. “It’s fascinating to see how different cultures approach live performance and multigenerational storytelling.”
“You don’t get to see this in most places in America, but the strong Chinese-American community here in Los Angeles keeps this interesting tradition alive for everyone to enjoy,” says the LA-based filmmaker. Producer Richard L. told Xinhua.
The Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles, Zhang Ping, also welcomed attendees and commended the festival organizers and participants for the great work they have done in creating opportunities to preserve traditional Chinese culture and build unique cross-cultural bridges.
“Los Angeles County residents applaud your dedication to promoting Chinese culture with an emphasis on unity, diversity and inclusivity,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
“At a time when Anti-AAPI (Asian American, Pacific Islander) hate crimes are on the rise, these values are more important than ever in our community. Your commitment to celebrating will have a lasting impact on the San Gabriel Valley for generations to come,” she continued.
Famous for its large Asian-American community, the San Gabriel Valley is home to more than half of the Chinese-American population of Los Angeles County. ■