Year of the Rooster crows

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - RICHARD MAYS

The Chi­nese Year of the Rooster gets its ‘‘crow’’ on in Palmer­ston North next week.

Along with Auck­land and Welling­ton, Palmer­ston North is one of just three New Zealand venues for the Happy Chi­nese New Year Gala Per­for­mance by the pro­fes­sional Liaon­ing Song and Dance En­sem­ble from China’s Liaon­ing Prov­ince.

Ping Peng of the Manawatu Chi­nese Com­mu­nity Trust said the trust had made a big ef­fort to bring the global cel­e­bra­tions for Chi­nese New Year to Palmer­ston North, and hoped it re­sulted in an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence for the lo­cal au­di­ence.

‘‘Th­ese kinds of pro­fes­sional per­for­mances nor­mally only hap­pen in Auck­land and Welling­ton,’’ Peng said.

‘‘It’s dif­fi­cult to get them here be­cause of the small pop­u­la­tion.’’

The col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween the China Min­istry of Cul­ture and Chi­nese em­bassies have seen th­ese type of Chi­nese New Year stage shows ap­pear around the world since 2001.

This year has spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance in the Chi­nese zo­diac as the Year of the Fire Rooster, which only comes around ev­ery 60 years.

‘‘I be­lieve the com­mu­nity will en­joy the ex­cel­lent singing, danc­ing and playing, the spec­tac­u­lar ac­ro­bat­ics, and the amaz­ing cos­tumes of the Liaon­ing Song and Dance En­sem­ble and the Liaon­ing Ac­ro­batic Troupe,’’ Peng said.

While Liaon­ing Prov­ince is in China’s north-east bor­der­ing North Korea, a spe­cial fea­ture of the con­cert is ‘‘the facechang­ing act’’ that comes from the south­west­ern prov­ince of Sichuan.

Peng said the unique act per­formed at breath­tak­ing speed, is a handed-down fam­ily per­for­mance tra­di­tion.

‘‘They wear Bei­jing Oper­atic cos­tumes. At ev­ery turn of the mu­sic, they change to a dif­fer­ent face. It is so quick, it is hard to know if they are faces or masks.’’

Other per­for­mances in­clude the tra­di­tional Yangko folk dance en­sem­ble and the song and dance duet known sim­ply as The Two Per­son Act.

The Re­gent on Broad­way show is on next Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 25, at 7pm. Adults are $25; chil­dren, se­niors, stu­dents and groups are $15 through Ticket Di­rect.

To cel­e­brate the year of the Fire Rooster, The Tri­bune has eight dou­ble passes to give away for next Wed­nes­day’s Happy Chi­nese New Year Gala. See The Tri­bune Face­book page for de­tails.

SUP­PLIED

Mem­bers of the Liaon­ing Song and Dance En­sem­ble and Liaon­ing Ac­ro­batic Troupe dur­ing the tour­ing ‘‘Happy Chi­nese New Year Gala Per­for­mance’’.

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