On March 28, 2012 in Williamsburg’s old Kimball Theatre, the very first Chinese Dance Gala was held. The audience not only included Williamsburg local residents, but also had people that came from neighboring cities such as Richmond and Norfolk who are interested in Chinese art. After the gala finished, many audience members were reluctant to part and expressed their gratitude to the performers and also hoped that many more similar activities would be held in the future.
The Gala was sponsored by the William and Mary Confucius Institute; W&M Chinese Study Program’s Professor Wilcox and Beijing Normal University’s Visiting Scholar Wang Jie together planned this gala which was rich and colorful with different styles of ethnic minority dance. Williamsburg, consisting mainly of retirees and William and Mary students, both voluntarily participated in this performance. Many people voluntarily participated in this performance, and only in one month of time, they rehearsed a high level performance that garnered much praise. The performance by the professional performer from China, Zhang Sun, was the climax of the show. Besides Chinese folk dance, the Gala also had student directed and performed skits,“New Friends”, guzheng, erhu, piano and other musical instrument performances, as well as rhythmic gymnastics, Kung Fu exhibition, and a solo performance of a Chinese popular song. Chinese Department student’s poetry projects dubbed with music strung together the entire Gala.
At the start of the Dance Gala, the directors gave a speech to the audience. The people in the picture from left to right are, Professor Wilcox, Visiting Scholar Wang Jie, Vice-Provost Steve Hanson, Chinese Studies Program and Confucius Institute Director Professor Tang Yanfang, and Confucius Institute Deputy Director Professor Ma Lei.
Williamsburg Chinese School students perform Happy Chinese New Year
Richmond Dance Team performs Yi ethnic group dance
Professor Wilcox performs the dance, “Fan Sword Sleeve”
William and Mary Chinese Student Organization perform Kung Fu
William and Mary Dance Group performs Tibetan ethnic group dance
Chinese professional dancer Zhang Sun’s dance received cheers from the entire audience.