The National Concert Hall of Ireland was packed on the evening of July 26, for Dancing in the Clouds – Folk Singing and Dancing of West China Performance. This performance of 35 artists from the Yunnan Province Singing and Dancing Theatre was one of a series of events entitled Experience China—Cultural Exploration of West China. The spectacular show kindled the audience’s interest in cultural exploration.
The event was organized jointly by the State Council Information Office of China, with the Chinese Embassy in Ireland and co-hosted by the China Arts and Entertainment Group and the UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland. Irish Minister for Justice Charles Flanagan, Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál MacDonncha, Director of the Human Rights Affairs Bureau of the State Council Mr Guangjin Lu, Deputy Head of Mission and Political Counsellor Mrs. Yang Hua joined the celebration and addressed the event.
Multi-ethic Dance Colorful Yunnan opened the grand show. Young performers in different costumes representing such ethnic groups as Dai, Tibetan, Wa, Yi and Hani brought their greetings from West China with exuberant dance moves. The Dance Divine Drum, performed by young Hani artist Xiaga was a magnificent interpretation of the Hani people’s awe of their gods and their prayer for prosperity, combining thunderous beats and whispering touches. The Chinese Tap Dance performed by Hani girls was one of the highlights of the show—it fascinated the Irish audience with a different version of their own famous Irish dance, helping them experience the beauty of cultural similarities and exchanges among different countries and races. Other performances such as the Tibetan version of the unforgettable Scottish song Greensleeves and the renowned Dai classic dance Spirit of Peacock offered the audience a brand new aesthetic perspective. The two-hour performance was filled with wondrous surprises and rich colors.
Minister for Justice and Equality Charles Flanagan said that the Experience China events would help Irish people gain a better understanding of the culture of West China. He spoke highly of the continuous progress of mutual understanding and collaborations between China and Ireland since the two countries established diplomatic relations 28 years ago, leading to a bilateral trade increase of 13.8% (≈US $800 million) and a new, historic level of cultural and educational cooperation between the two nations.
As the leader of this series of events, Director of the Human Rights Affairs Bureau of the State Council Mr. Guangjin Lu identified the similarities of languages, cultures and customs between China and Ireland; he stressed the important role of exchanges among countries and civilizations in creating a diverse but unified culture. He hoped that more Irish people would be interested in visiting West China for its spectacular sceneries and diverse cultures.
On behalf of the organizers, Deputy Head of Mission and Political Counsellor Mrs. Yang Hua reiterated that the 2017 Experience China—Cultural Exploration of West China series of events was a proof of the mutual understanding on the cultural and spiritual level between China and Ireland, and it witnessed the new heights and enthusiasm of cultural collaborations between the two countries.