On Tuesday night, the Frank Collymore Hall was the scene of a vivid display of culture and art as the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Barbados in association with the Central Bank presented China’s Charming Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Art Troupe.
This live exhibition was in celebration of the 5th Fish and Dragon Festival held on the island, and featured the best troupes out of China that specialize in song, dance, acrobatics and martial arts.
Opening the night, the Girls Crystal Band performed Jasmine Flower and several classical pieces of Chinese music. The pip and eruhu, string instruments that originated out of China well over a thousand years ago, would be new to the average Barbadian. However, their sound is very distinct in nature when one thinks about authentic Chinese music. The folk pieces were filled with emotion and nice, gentle tempos which had the audience in awe.
Speaking of awe, Shan Dai, a popular Chinese singer, showed off her talent of blending her style of Oriental music with western jazz to produce a truly unique and powerful sound. Her song Ode to China was beautiful, but it was her rendition of Whitney Houston’s powerful love ballad I Will Always Love You that sent the crowd into a roaring round of applause.
Martial arts in mainland China have always been an honoured tradition that has engraved its presence into Chinese culture for several generations. The Tianjin Wush Troupe comprises a group of martial artists known for winning several world class competitions. They gave a small taste of their skill and adeptness when it comes to the treasured art.
Hebei Acrobatic Troupe displayed some jaw-dropping acrobatic acts which were enhanced with shocking levels of flexibility while still balancing objects to the ever changing tempo of the music being played. To say these girls have clearly achieved a high level of skill in their arena would be a massive understatement. We can’t help but applaud them at their high level of skill and achievement.
The festival welcomed several dignitaries including the Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, Ambassador to Barbados Yan Xiusheng and Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King. (SB)