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Renowned Chinese troupe offers music and dance concert

March 26, 2008

KALAMAZOO--A rare performance of Chinese music and dance awaits a local audience at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 31, when faculty and students from the Sichuan University Art Troupe perform in Western Michigan University's Dalton Recital Hall.

The free, public performance is part of a two-day campus visit by the delegation composed of six professors and 18 students. The art troupe is offering American universities a carefully prepared folk dancing and singing gala titled "All Good Wishes." The event will feature dancing and singing typical of Western China as well as works jointly created and performed by the students and teachers of Sichuan University in recent years.

Performers include professor Shijing Yan, director of international affairs, Xiangdong Yang, deputy dean of the arts school, and Professor Guan Ping, director of the International Exchange Division. In addition to performing, the Chinese students will attend WMU music and dance classes and rehearsals for the University Chorale and Symphonic Band. They also will put on a demonstration for WMU dance students.

The Sichuan University Art Troupe is the first ensemble of its kind among higher education institutions in Western China as well as a professional arts performance organization. The troupe was established based on several specialties in the School of Arts of Sichuan University, such as music, dance, editing, directing and performing arts for television and film.

Since its establishment in 1999, with a mission to promote Chinese culture and focus on the ethnic arts of Western China, the art troupe has produced a large number of performances featuring the characteristics of the western region, customs of ethnic minorities and campus cultural life. The works and performances produced by the troupe have won many prizes in professional and national contests. In 2002 and 2003, the troupe traveled to the University of Tennessee and Knoxville, Tenn., for cultural performances and academic exchange. In 2007, performances took place in seven universities in Korea to wide acclaim.

Since its establishment, the art troupe has drawn together a large number of nationally renowned directors and actors and now has a team of eight creative workers, 80 dancers, 12 singers and 20 screen actors.

WMU's School of Music, Department of Dance and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences are sponsoring the troupe's visit. WMU's China Study Group and the local Chinese community have provided financial support. For more information, contact Dr. David Colson in the School of Music at (269) 387-4667.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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