Ancient Chinese Culture Comes to OSU: Music, History, Theater, and Martial Arts Event

In a musical, theatrical, and martial arts performance of the likes rarely seen outside China, Oregon State University’s School of Arts and Communication in the College of Liberal Arts presents the Hua Xia Orchestra from Henan Museum of China and monks of the Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Team. Staged at the LaSell’s Stewart Center as part of a long-standing cultural exchange program between OSU and the Cultural Department of Henan Province in China, the performance is one of only four in the troupe’s US tour.

The Hua Xia Ancient Music Group of Henan Museum is highly engaged in the preservation, research, and exhibition of ancient Chinese music. Costumes, musical scores, and instruments such as the bone flute and chime bells used in the performance are replicas of historical items, some unearthed from ancient Chinese graves.

Presented in three parts, the event involves 20 performers of all ages. The performance will begin with a narrated musical presentation, including instruments and Chinese music from prehistoric times through the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD). This will be followed by a demonstration of ancient Chinese martial arts styles and weapons by members of the Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Team. Finally, the performance includes a theatrical play about the Chinese Lantern Festival, or “Chinese Valentine’s Day,” which is a celebration of flowers, lanterns, and love, held on the first full moon of each new year. This traditional festival has been taking place for the past 2,000 years, and also involves audience participation in the “Guessing Game,” a traditional aspect of the Chinese Lantern Festival.

The performance will take place on January 17th at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:45 p.m.) at OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center. Admission is free.

by Genevieve Weber