Chinese Moon Festival set for Oct. 12 at URI

Posted on
KINGSTON, R.I. – September 27, 2012 – Peking Opera, traditional Chinese music, and singing and traditional costumes will highlight the University of Rhode Island’s Moon Festival Friday, Oct. 12.

Free and open to the public, the program in Edwards Hall auditorium, will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the performance segment starting at 7 p.m.

Highlights of the night will be:

• Peking Opera performance by Binghamton University Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera, State University of New York

• Binghamton students perform traditional Chinese music, song and dance

• URI Chinese and Chinese learning students and faculty perform, including Vice Provost Clifford Katz, director of the Confucius Institute, who will demonstrate Taiji.

• Display of Peking Opera costumes, clothing and pictures before and after the performance.

Details of some of the performances follow:

1. The Crossroads Inn, performed by the Peking Opera

This is the story of Jiao Zan, a general of the Song Dynasty, who defended Song against the northern Jurchen invaders. Jiao Zan and other soldiers and generals under General Yang Yanhui’s command have been honored as national heroes by generations of Chinese for the patriotic deeds and sacrifices in the war between Song and the Jurchen Jin Dynasty.

2. A Moonlit River on a Spring Night is one of the most famous Chinese traditional music works since the late 19th century. The beautiful musical harmony paints a tranquil scene of a river in springtime and gives a vivid impression of ripples over the water.

3. Ambush from All Sides, Traditional Chinese Music

This is a famous Chinese classical lute (pipa) score, which was composed on the basis of a battle in 202 B.C. between the armies of Chu and Han at Gaixia, by the Wujiang River. Through its passionate and majestic tune, the audience can almost see the fierce, desolate, solemn and stirring scenes of the battle and hear the sounds of soldiers’ shouting, horse galloping, and weapons striking.

4. Uproar in Heaven, Peking Opera

Based on one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature, Journey to the West, this play tells the story of how the Monkey King challenges the authority by putting Heaven in uproar. In fear of Monkey King’s immense amount of strength and superb speed, Jade Emperor offers Monkey King a rank amongst the gods and makes him the guardian of the Heavenly Garden. When the Monkey King finds that everyone in Heaven but him is invited to a royal banquet, his indignation again turns to open defiance. He then proceeds to destroy many of Heaven’s palaces. Due to its extensive portrayal of martial arts, this is one of the most popular Beijing opera repertoires.

Among the visiting actors and actresses is TU Linghui 涂玲慧, who is a National Class-one Performer. She has won the 4th Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre and the 1st Wenhua Performance Award. She is currently a visiting professor of Beijing opera at Binghamton University.

The festival is sponsored by the Confucius Institute at the University of Rhode Island, Binghamton University, Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera, URI Chinese FLAGSHIP Program and the URI Chinese Students and Scholars Association.