January 20, 2023
Mr. Brian Nieh, Arts not-Teacher
Before we start, I’d like to give an editor’s/arts coordinator note regarding our upcoming CNY Celebration and performance:
At the start of each semester, our choreographers are very eager to start their new programs. However, at the same time, we have two major celebrations in the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year. Both of these typically include a performance, so this is where things get tricky: what programs do we do?
For the CNY celebration next week, we can certainly run back some of the Winter Wonders programs, many of which our students are performing for other community CNY celebrations (including at Commodore Sloat ES UCSF, and the Sunset Farmers’ Market). But as the artists we (students and teachers) are, despite the time frame, we’re hard at work choreographing and preparing a few new pieces for you all to enjoy.
Now pivoting back to the original planned topic: Chinese Dance as a Celebratory Tool
Chinese dance has been around for centuries in different forms and used for different purposes. More often than not, Chinese dance is used for celebrations. It can take the form of court dances for imperial officials to celebrate holidays or birthdays or a great piece of legislation. More widespread, it surfaces in all different ethnic groups, doing ethnic dances to celebrate a harvest or whenever they just want to have some fun. Several of our dances from Winter Wonders fall into this category, including Snow-Capped Celebrations (celebrating their reverence to the heavens) and Flower Hats (celebrating their beautiful hats).
So next Friday, we hope to celebrate with a few Chinese Dance pieces during the CNY Celebration performance, including a special piece to send off the year of the tiger.