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WMCI's Chinese Culture Semester Kicks Off

On February 18, the William & Mary Confucius Institute (WMCI) formally unveiled the College’s Chinese Culture Semester with a parade, cultural dances and street performances in Merchant’s Square.  The event was co-sponsored by the William & Mary 2012 Global Film Festival

WMCI Performances at Kimball Theatre in Merchant's SquareWilliam & Mary students, members of the Peninsula Chinese American Association, Williamsburg Chinese School students, and professional performers from Richmond took part in the parade, which wound from the Sadler Center to Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square. Traditional Yangge and Dragon dances, martial arts performances, modern dances, and vocal performances delighted the on-looking crowd of over 400 people.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese Emily Wilcox was responsible for overall planning of the parade and street performances, while W&M student and Chinese Student Organization (CSO) president Kenneth Qiu organized the parade and coordinated various performance groups.

Following the parade and performances, Global Film Festival participants enjoyed screenings of “Beijing Bicycle” and “Infernal Affairs” at Kimball Theatre. Wang Xiaoshuai, director of “Beijing Bicycle,” engaged in a video-assisted question and answer session with the audience following the screening of his movie. Both films elicited positive reactions from the audience, many of whom expressed their hopes that the WMCI would continue to provide similar cultural activities to local communities.

WMCI’s arrival at William & Mary signifies a new resource for students and members of the broader community to deepen their understanding of Yangge dancers on the parade route to Merchant's SquareChinese language and culture. W&M’s Chinese Culture Semester also includes several lectures on contemporary China, a Chinese Majors Forum and Chinese Speech Contest for W&M undergraduates, as well as a Faculty Forum on Chinese Classics involving William & Mary-and Beijing Normal University faculty, and a Chinese Dance Gala.