Dotting of the Eyes
The Opening Ceremony at 10am will commence with the traditional ‘Dotting of the Eyes’ of the dragon by dignitaries the Deputy Prime Minister and the Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Auckland – on the broadwalk in front of the main entry to Hall 3.
The dragon dancers will then lead the official party into Hall 3 to the cultural concert stage where the formal speeches and sponsors’ presentations will take place.
Following on the indoor stage, the first feature performance is by an acrobatic troupe from China brought to New Zealand by the Paul Young International Group. Their appearance at this year’s festival will be the group’s New Zealand premiere, after which they’ll be based in Hamilton for the next two years and be featured in circuses and festivals throughout New Zealand.
The second feature performance is a Bianlian act (literally ‘Changing Face’) which is a traditional Chinese art from Sichuan opera. Bianlian performers wear differently coloured masks that they can change in a fraction of a second, allowing for a sudden change of facial expression. Bianlian is a highly esoteric secret that is under protection by the Chinese government.
The remainder of the four hours of almost continuous traditional Chinese entertainment has being organised by Preston Zhang, President of the Asia Pacific Culture Connection Centre, utilising the amazing expertise of many locally based artists. The wide variety of items will include group folk dancers, lion dancers, Chinese musical instruments players, opera and classical singers and a fashion show.
Outside on the front boardwalk there will be a full programme of entertainment featuring young talented Chinese and non-stop action. Besides Chinese singers performing a range of modern songs in English and Mandarin, there will be baby lion and dragon dances by youngsters from four years of age upwards and also demonstrations of tai chi, kung fu, taekwon-do, aikido and iai-do.
Students will also show a range of clever tricks with diabolo, the street game that has taken Asian youth by storm.
The outdoor entertainment will conclude with rousing pop music from the Tiny Templates band.
In between items, kids can use up their excess energy in the bouncy castle and many other amusement activities.
This Festival and Market Day to bring in the Year of the Sheep will be an exciting and fun-filled day for young and old – an event not to be missed!
NZ debut: The special troupe of performers visiting from China is a first for New Zealand.