Lunar New Year gala held in New Zealand’s Auckland

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(Above) Peking Opera artist Wenge Hu, who is the third-generation successor of the Mei School of Peking Opera, performs during the “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night in Auckland, New Zealand, Feb. 13, 2024. The “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night was held on Tuesday night in Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand.

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The “Festival of Spring” is a national cultural brand hosted by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of China’s State Council, and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, a Chinese civic organization. This year, the “Festival of Spring” art troupe from China comprised 35 artists who started their tour performances from Auckland. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — The “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night was held on Tuesday night in Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand.

The “Festival of Spring” is a national cultural brand hosted by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of China’s State Council, and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, a Chinese civic organization. This year, the “Festival of Spring” art troupe from China comprised 35 artists who started their tour performances from Auckland.

The gala night featured both classics such as wushu performance, cultural music and dances, traditional Chinese music instruments and Peking Opera, as well as innovative artistic performances such as saxophone combining both classics and popular music, and acrobatics utilizing diabolo.

The performances were inundated with waves of applause and cheers. Later on, young audiences were invited to the stage to interact with the artists. The audience was shouting “encore” to request the artists to stay longer on the stage, while one of the male singers ended up singing in tears as if being touched by the sincerity of the audience.

The finale of the night featured Peking Opera artist Wenge Hu, who is the third-generation successor of the Mei School of Peking Opera, and the female soloist Sisi Chen, a household soprano name in China. People craned their necks and held their breath before the performances finished when thunders of applause followed.

It is the first time in four years that the “Festival of Spring” art troupe has come to New Zealand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fen Li, president of the New Zealand Huaxing Arts Troupe, which coordinated the event in New Zealand, was excited to welcome the artists from China back to New Zealand.

“I believe the fantastic performances tonight will not only be a wonderful artistic feast for the audience, but also facilitate a mutual friendship as well as exchange of the arts and culture between New Zealand and China,” said Li.

Mike Dawson, Auckland Branch president from the New Zealand China Friendship Society, was grateful for the cultural bridge the event had facilitated.

“Music breaks through all language and cultural differences. In this way, an important people-to-people bridge is formed, bringing people together, those to be entertained and others to entertain,” said Dawson.

Among the 2,200-strong audience was Xiaoying Fu, a business consultant. She was interested to see the fusion of artistic elements in the performances. When asked which was her favorite, Fu was undecided and happy to vote all.

“The Kongzhu (diabolo) acrobatics is technically the most difficult; the saxophone provided a delighted mood, the male solo songs made me nostalgic, and the Peking Opera is a rarely seen piece. They are all very unique,” said Fu.

Steven Huang from West Auckland took photos and short videos for every performance when it is allowed. He enjoyed every piece and wanted to keep the cherished memory.

Yi Zhang, the chairperson of the 2024 “Festival of Spring” Art Troupe, attributed his gratitude to the overseas Chinese for their contribution to the friendly exchanges between China and New Zealand.

“For a long time, the overseas Chinese living in Auckland have been carrying forward the excellent traditions of the Chinese nation, such as resilience, hard work, unity and cooperation. They live in harmony with the locals, actively promote Chinese culture, and have made positive contributions to promoting New Zealand’s economic and social development and friendly exchanges between China and New Zealand. They have become witnesses, participants, and contributors to promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and New Zealand,” said Zhang.

“In the year of the Dragon, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and New Zealand. China is willing to work with New Zealand to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields on the basis of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win results, so as to push bilateral relations to a new level and better benefit our two peoples,” said Chen Shijie, China’s consul general in Auckland. ■

Performer Yan Xiangyu interacts with a boy from the audience during the “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night in Auckland, New Zealand, Feb. 13, 2024. The “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night was held on Tuesday night in Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand.

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The “Festival of Spring” is a national cultural brand hosted by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of China’s State Council, and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, a Chinese civic organization. This year, the “Festival of Spring” art troupe from China comprised 35 artists who started their tour performances from Auckland. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

Performers dance during the “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night in Auckland, New Zealand, Feb. 13, 2024. The “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night was held on Tuesday night in Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand.

The “Festival of Spring” is a national cultural brand hosted by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of China’s State Council, and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, a Chinese civic organization. This year, the “Festival of Spring” art troupe from China comprised 35 artists who started their tour performances from Auckland. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

Performer Yan Xiangyu performs acrobatics during the “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night in Auckland, New Zealand, Feb. 13, 2024. The “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night was held on Tuesday night in Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand.

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The “Festival of Spring” is a national cultural brand hosted by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of China’s State Council, and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, a Chinese civic organization. This year, the “Festival of Spring” art troupe from China comprised 35 artists who started their tour performances from Auckland. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

Performers dance during the “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night in Auckland, New Zealand, Feb. 13, 2024. The “Festival of Spring” Chinese Lunar New Year Gala Night was held on Tuesday night in Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand.

The “Festival of Spring” is a national cultural brand hosted by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of China’s State Council, and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, a Chinese civic organization. This year, the “Festival of Spring” art troupe from China comprised 35 artists who started their tour performances from Auckland. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

Source: Xinhua

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