ST. PAUL — Chinese American Association of Minnesota (CAAM) Chinese Dance Theater presented its 12th annual Chinese New Year School Show at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium of College of St. Catherine on January 29, 2013.
The two 45-minute dance programs featured the most prominent traditions in celebrating Chinese New Year, such as lion dance, red ribbon, handkerchief parade, brush & ink painting, and, to the young audiences’ ‘woos and ahs’, a magnificent dragon dance. A lively exchange between two young MCs and the audience helped ensure an educational understanding of the traditions reflected in the dances.
Over 1,200 school-age children from schools such as Minneapolis South High School, Island Lake Elementary School, Xinxing Academy, St. Paul Academy, Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School and others attended the program on an educational field trip. Members of the Midwest Special Services organization also enjoyed the program. Students on free-lunch plans receive subsidized tickets.
“The show was incredible. The kids absolutely loved it,” said one enthusiastic teacher after the field trip.
CAAM CDT has been providing such high quality artistic and educational programming to coincide with Chinese New Year for the past twelve years. Each year a new theme with all new dances and educational materials are created.
“We intend to continue this special program as a way to contribute to the diverse cultural educational experiences of all Minnesota students,” says Artistic Director Lili Teng.
More than 60 dancers and volunteer staff, ranging from the very young to working professionals, took the day off from school or office to perform in the program as a way to give back to the community.
“Each year I have been thrilled to see such young talented kids take center stage and perform for their peers. What an amazing experience,” said CAAM CDT parent and volunteer photographer Bob Kasten.
“The Chinese American Association of Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater plays an important role in preserving and presenting traditional Chinese performing arts, while promoting the diversity and vitality of Chinese culture,” said a letter from Governor Mark Dayton.
Since 1992 CAAM Chinese Dance Theater has served families and delighted audiences with locally produced Chinese dance performances and community outreaches throughout the Upper Midwest. Members come from diverse Chinese and non-Chinese backgrounds and equally delight in learning and sharing the rich traditions of Chinese dance.
In a tradition of giving, CAAM Chinese Dance Theater’s “Traditions: a Spirited Celebration of Chinese New Year delights and educates more than 1,200 school children annually.