UB to present dazzling celebration of Moon Festival, Confucius’ birthday

Illustration of a full moon hanging over a string of red Chinese lanterns.

Event to feature opera, dance, music, martial arts, majestic photo exhibition

Release Date: September 24, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its founding with a spectacular performance of music, dance and opera in honor of the Chinese Moon Festival, as well as the birthday of the esteemed Chinese philosopher Confucius.

This free public event will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Drama Theatre in the Center for the Arts, North Campus.

It will feature an array of captivating color, lissome dance and breathtaking martial arts performed by highly trained students from Beijing’s Capital Normal University, who will draw upon the traditions of ancient China while updating them with a contemporary spin.

They will perform on traditional musical instruments such as the guzheng (zither), pipa (lute) and yangqin (dulcimer), as well as a variety of other flutes and percussion, and present a performance of Beijing opera — a rare event in Western New York.

The opera performers will present the tragic love story “Farewell my Concubine” and “Lim Chong Night Flight,” a piece based on “Water Margin,” one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature.

As part of the celebration, the institute will host the photo exhibition, “China 1983: People, Places and Things,” a selection from the portfolio of Debora Kolodczak, UB adjunct professor of communication. Kolodczak participated in a New York-Beijing cultural and educational exchange program in 1983 as a photographer/filmmaker, producing more than 10,000 photographs and 20 hours of film footage.

The aim of the program is to offer audiences a better understanding of Chinese culture. This is the fifth year the Confucius Institute has organized a performance tour in concurrence with the Moon Festival and the first year the event will include commemoration of Confucius’ birthday.

The Moon Festival, a popular harvest gala, has been celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people for more than 3,000 years, dating back to moon worship in China’s Shang Dynasty. It remains one of the most important celebrations in the Chinese calendar. Traditionally held on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese calendar, the festival fell on Sept. 8 in the Gregorian calendar this year.

Confucius is one of the most prominent and esteemed philosophers and scholars in Chinese history and celebrations of his birthday have been held annually in China since the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.). His teachings reached the apex of influence during the Han, Tang and Song dynasties, and continue to be lauded today. The celebration of his birth occurs on the 27th lunar day of the eighth moon. This year, his birthday fell on Sept. 20.

The UB Confucius Institute was established in 2009 to promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture at UB and throughout Western New York. The institute, part of a network of 440 such institutes around the globe, is a collaborative program involving UB’s Asian Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences; Capital Normal University, a longstanding UB educational partner in Beijing; and the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban).

The upcoming celebration epitomizes the dedication and success of the institute over the past five years in providing meaningful and enjoyable programs about China for the UB community and Western New Yorkers of all ages.

For more information about the Confucius Institute and its celebration, contact Qiaomei (Maggie) Lu at 716-645-6480 or qiaomei@buffalo.edu.


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