Pek­ing Opera in Palmer­ston North

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - RICHARD MAYS

China Cul­tural Week opens in New Zealand with a visit to Palmer­ston North on Fri­day of the Hei­longjiang Pek­ing Opera Theatre.

Ping Peng, from the Manawatu Chi­nese Com­mu­nity Trust, said the highly re­garded group’s ap­pear­ance here was sig­nif­i­cant, with the 7pm Spiers Cen­tre The Quintessence of Chi­nese Cul­ture per­for­mance launch­ing New Zealand’s 2017 China Cul­tural Week.

‘‘It is one of China’s old­est pro­vin­cial Pek­ing Opera troupes, and has been ac­claimed glob­ally for award-win­ning per­for­mances that in­cor­po­rate singing, danc­ing, act­ing, mar­tial arts and sto­ry­telling,’’ Peng said.

‘‘The Manawatu Chi­nese Com­mu­nity Trust is very lucky to be able to host one of their two only per­for­mances in New Zealand.‘‘

The stylised per­for­mance form is recog­nised as one of China’s cul­tural trea­sures. Founded in 1950 in the far north­ern Chi­nese province of Hei­longjiang on the bor­der with Rus­sia, this troupe is re­garded in China as be­ing a group of na­tional cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance.

It was com­ing to Palmer­ston North be­cause past cul­tural vis­its spon­sored by the China Cul­tural Cen­tre had gone so well, ac­cord­ing to Guo Zhong­guan, di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre in Welling­ton.

Guo said Jan­uary’s Happy Chi­nese New Year per­for­mance by the tour­ing Liaon­ing Song and Dance En­sem­ble in the Re­gent on Broad­way in cel­e­bra­tion of the 2017 Chi­nese Year of the Rooster Spring Fes­ti­val was a case in point.

‘‘That was a very suc­cess­ful event. The peo­ple in Palmer­ston North were very re­cep­tive. It was warmly wel­comed by the lo­cal com­mu­nity and sup­ported by the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil. This is an­other chance to build closer ties with a mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­nity.’’

The city’s prox­im­ity to Welling­ton for trans­port and ac­com- mo­da­tion ar­range­ments was also an ad­van­tage, he said.

The elab­o­rately cos­tumed troupe will be per­form­ing four tra­di­tional pieces from their con­sid­er­able reper­toire, in­clud­ing The Lady of Heaven Scat­ters Flow­ers and Pre­sent­ing a Pearl on the Red Bridge.

Cul­tural Week ac­tiv­i­ties con­tinue in Welling­ton with a re­peat per­for­mance of The Quintessence of Chi­nese Cul­ture Pek­ing Opera show at Te Papa on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

SUP­PLIED

Pek­ing Opera dance scene per­formed by the Hei­longjiang Pek­ing Opera Theatre.

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