Today marks the The Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a very special occasion in China, with its importance being just behind the Chinese New Year. During this period, people celebrate with their families, eat moon cakes, and appreciate the full moon at night.
on 27th September, in the name of Mid-Autumn Festival, the UK Han Culture Association and UK China Performing Arts (UKCPA) collaborated with several London based Chinese artists, and brought authentic oriental culture onto stage at London Hippodrome.
Hippodrome was first opened in 1900, initially used for circus performances and variety shows, and later on became a popular spot for comedies, musicals, jazz shows and burlesque shows. This time, Chinese performance art came onto this stage.
What an interesting combination! Classic Oriental culture meets Western glam!
The night started with the lively and vivacious drum beats from the genre-defying percussionist Beibei Wang, a talented young musician who has performed on numerous world stages, and collaborated with many renowned performers, including the multi-award composer/conductor Tan Dun.
Han Ceremony & Hanfu Show
What followed was the Han ceremony, where everyone wears Hanfu (a form of traditional Chinese attires), and offers food and wine to heaven, earth and the moon.
Classic Chinese Dance
The Classic Chinese dances were the highlight of the night. They were choreographed by the founder of UK China Performing Arts, Joanna (Hangyu) Zhou, and performed by her talented students. Gentle, poetic music, along with the graceful movements painted an image that was utterly beautiful and mesmerising.
The Parade of the Beauties
The Jade dancer
Treading with the Song
I also played a part at this event with my friend, and long-term opera partner. Together, we brought the ancient Chinese opera, which dated back to 1600s, onto the Hippodrome stage.
Excerpt from The Peony Pavilion
It was to my great pleasure to watch and participate in this event. The organisers were brilliant in making sure that everything was in place and paid great attention to details.
Now, are you tempted in learning more about Chinese Classic Dance?
Well, UK Han Culture Association and UK China Performing Arts are bringing a new course. If you are interested, you can sign up the course via the meetup link:
*Photo credit: UK Han Chinese Culture, UK China Performing Arts, 水色, 墨辰，戴佳捷。
*Declaration: permission of photos acquired where possible. If the owner requests the removal of any photos, please email me: [email protected]