Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Chinese community's memorable bash

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The Chinese community partied over the long weekend, in a dizzying, dazzling display of high-flying acrobatics, puppetry, dance and dim sum.

The three-day open cultural event, in which all of Winnipeg was invited to partake, was to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Manitoba Great Wall Performing Arts group.

"It really was a fabulous weekend. We had such a great turnout and it really surprised even us how many people were excited to celebrate with us," said Rosana Leung Shing, vice-president of Great Wall.

Cultural organizations across the city took part in a score of events aimed at honouring different facets of the country's artistic scene. The celebration began Friday evening with a 10-course Chinese meal at Kum Koon Garden, followed by traditional Chinese performances in dance, acrobatics and puppetry.

The celebration's biggest event came Saturday night, when more than 2,000 people packed Assiniboine Park to watch dancers from the local group, as well as professional dancers from Chengdu, China, perform on the Lyric Theatre's outdoor stage.

China Culture Day tumbled to a finish Sunday with a full day of workshops aimed at teaching Winnipeg youth about Chinese culture.

Shing said experts from the Chengdu Acrobatic Group were flown in from China to give classes in kung fu, Chinese yo-yo, acrobatics, magic tricks and paper cutting.

Song Hai Yan, who taught Chinese yo-yo, arrived from Chengdu on Thursday. Through a translator, she explained she had been practising yo-yo since she was four years old, close to 20 years.

"I was excited to come visit Canada and learn more about the country. The kids have been learning very well and they are learning basic techniques," Yan said.

katherine.dow@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 4, 2012 B4

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