By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Chinese Embassy to Zimbabwe on Friday showcased a series of arts performances from the Nanjing Province as part of strengthening the Cultural tide that comes with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
“As we know, China and Zimbabwe are good friends and partners, and we enjoy a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation. Cultural exchange has always been a centre piece of this relationship,” Director of the Political Section at the Chinese Embassy Madam Jule said.
The art showcase featured dance, folk dancing, acrobatics, pipa instrument performance, Chinese musical ensemble, and a rather unfamiliar art ‘ventriloquism’.
Ventriloquism was defined by the Director of Political Section as “…the art of speaking without moving your lips and making it look as if your voice is coming from another person or source.”
Dance was featured in the form of Chinese opera adoption ‘huadan’ or the ‘flowery role’, folk dances from China’s ethnic groups.
“Huadan is a lively young female character in Chinese Opera and usually represents girls of around 12- 16 years old who are pretty, cute and a little bit naughty.”
On the other hand “China has 56 ethnic groups and each ethnic group has it’s own folk dance forms. Fork dance directly reflect the lifestyles and customs of a people and in addition to their artistic value as dances, they are a precious part of China’s cultural heritage,” Madam Jule said.
The pipa instrument presents phenomenal sounds and is a wooden guitar like instrument that has been part of the Chinese culture for over two millennia. A beautiful song ‘rose’ was played.
“Pipa is one of the most popular Chinese musical instrument and has been played for almost 2000 years. It is made of wood in a pear shape. It has just a few strings, yet it can make beautiful and magical musical melodies” Hon Jule also said.
Juggling was the acrobatics act and the final feature was a musical ensemble that featured Pipa and other instruments.
Officiating as the host and initiator of this idea the Chinese Ambassador’s representative, Madam Wangwei, said the fusion of culture through such exchange programmes was an important aspect of the cooperation between the two countries.
The event followed a performance of the acts by the Nanjing cultural group at Seven arts Theatre, while coinciding with the visit by the Chinese Tourist delegation and the commencement of Culture week.