URI to celebrate Chinese New Year Feb. 12, 13

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KINGSTON, R.I. –January 27, 2010–The University of Rhode Island will celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Tiger on its Providence and Kingston campuses, Feb. 12 and Feb. 13. The celebration, organized and sponsored by the Confucius Institute, is free and open to the public. A donation of $10 per adult is recommended to support the cultural programs presented by the Institute. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The renowned Ningbo Performing Art Academy and its Xiao Baihua Yue Opera Troupe from Ningbo, China will provide an evening and afternoon of Chinese music, dance and theater.

With roots in the folk music traditions of the Yangtze River Valley region of central eastern China, Yue Opera is known for its gentle melodies, stunning visual performance style, and cross-gender casting. Performances reflect the traditional and cosmopolitan sensibilities of the Shanghai region. Its featured repertoire of romantic plays is popular among audiences of all ages and from all parts of the globe.

The presentation at URI will feature Chinese traditional music, drums, songs, and episodes of operas including a Yue Opera episode of Confucius.

The URI Concert Choir and Lively Experiment, conducted by Mark Conley, will perform with the Ningbo Performing Art Academy. Here is the schedule:

Friday, Feb. 12 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.,

URI Providence Campus, Paff Auditorium,

80 Washington St., Providence

Saturday, Feb. 13, URI Kingston Campus

2 p.m. Dedication of Chinese Library Collection

Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons

15 Lippitt Road, Kingston.

3 to 4:30 p.m. Performance

Edwards Auditorium

64 Upper College Road, Kingston

“URI’s Chinese New Year Celebration is a continuation of its successful Chinese programming and provides a way to welcome a prosperous year in academics, scholarship, research, fund-raising, and global outreach,” says Yan Ma, director of the URI Confucius Institute.

“The Institute planned the events in partnership with the Confucius Institute at UCLA to make this Chinese New Year celebration a special one. Drs. Wellman Wu and Wan Wu, URI alumni, generously sponsored the Ningbo Performing Art Academy to perform in New York and to cover related expenses for the whole program. Dr. Wellman Wu is the president of the U.S. Ningbo Merchant Association and he and his brother Wan Wu are presidents of the Kam Man Charitable Foundation and Kam Man Food Company.

The events are co-sponsored by URI’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Division of Student Affairs, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the International Engineering Program, and the Flagship Chinese Program. Support also comes from ACBC EXCHANGE in Cranston, the Chinese Mini Market in Cranston, PDK Regency in Fall River, Mass., Peking and Tokyo Restaurant in Kingston, and the Ocean View Gourmet Chinese Restaurant in Narragansett.

The Ningbo Performing Art Academy will provide music for the dedication of the Chinese Library Collection at the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons on the Kingston campus at 2 p.m. on Feb. 13. The collection is a donation of more 5,000 books, CDs, DVDs, and other library resources. Currently, these resources are being cataloged for public access.

Su Yuqiang, associate director of the Ningbo City Bureau of Culture will speak about the famous Tianyige in Ningbo, which URI Chinese Library Collection will be named.

The art academy will also perform on a smaller scale during an invitation-only ceremony at the Cranston Public Library, 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston Feb. 16 from noon to 2 p.m. The performance celebrates the new Chinese collection, a partnership among Cranston Public Library, URI’s Confucius Institute and URI’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. The collection includes books and DVDs in English and Mandarin about all aspects of China including business, history, politics, culture, cooking and philosophy. There will also be a collection of language learning materials for patrons interested in learning Mandarin.