Confucius Institute celebrates ‘Love for China’

Dancers from North China Electric Power University perform the “Flowers Blooming Dance” at the Love for China event. The North China Electric Power University Troupe is a professional performing organization within the university. Bria Granville/HERALD

Lashana Harney

Several performers dressed in traditional Chinese garb played a variety of Chinese instruments, performed martial arts and “danced like butterflies” during Friday’s “Love for China” event at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center.

The event was hosted by WKU’s Confucius Institute which featured a performing troupe from their sister university in China, the North China Electric Power University. 

“Love for China” was the kickoff for Confucius Day, a holiday to celebrate Confucius, a Chinese philosopher. 

During the weekend, the Confucius Institute hosted other events such as the symposium, “Understanding China” to help commemorate the holiday and had multiple booths at the Bowling Green International Festival.

Jackie Goldammer, events and operations director at SKyPAC, said the goal of the event was primarily geared toward education.

“…I think the more people that come to these events, the more people can learn,” she said. 

Terrill Martin, managing director for the Confucius Institute, said the event began preparation in the late spring. He said the institute plans to do more events similar to “Love for China,” such as celebrating the Chinese New Year.  

The performance featured 12 different acts that showcased different aspects of Chinese culture. 

Monticello junior Sarah Angelle said she thought it was amazing.

“I thought it was an accurate representation of Chinese culture, and I loved how each aspect of the performing arts in China all came together, like the instruments, the dances and the songs,” Angelle said.

Acts included Chinese classical dance, Chinese opera, vocal songs performed by traditional Chinese instruments, Chinese calligraphy and kung fu.

The Chinese opera act featured a man who sang parts traditionally sung by a woman. Cynthiana sophomore Gus Madsen enjoyed that act. 

 “I had never heard of that, so it was really cool to see,” Madsen said.

Various Chinese traditional instruments were used, such as the Chinese flute and the Chinese lute.

The performance received a standing ovation following its conclusion. SKyPAC’s Ticket Sales Associate Hannah Steward said about 441 people filled the room. 

Angelle said the event served as an insight to China’s culture. 

“I think a lot of Americans aren’t really accustomed to Chinese culture and way of life, like their art forms,” Angelle said. “So, being able to see that and be exposed to that is really important.”