Austin, Texas Explores Cross-Cultural Artistic Exchange with China

Yunnan Folk Song & Dance Ensemble of the People’s Republic of China visits Austin

Austin, Texas, Jan. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Traditional Chinese folk dance and song have been passed down generation to generation for thousands of years. A unique opportunity to experience some of these cultural traditions was shared with audiences in Austin, Texas with Treasures of the Yunnan Province. This special one-time cultural exchange performance featuring dancers, singers, magicians and acrobats from the People’s Republic of China, occurred on January 12, 2011 at the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin at 713 Congress Avenue.

This cultural exchange event was developed in partnership between the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston and the City of Austin and celebrated friendship between cultures. While in Austin, visiting artists explored local artistic venues, culture and cuisine. The culmination of this exchange was a special finale collaboration featuring 9-time Grammy award-winner, Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel and Treasures of the Yunnan Province’s leaf player, He Wenxing. The entire performance was videotaped and will be rebroadcast in China reaching an estimated audience of over 1.2 billion viewers.

“In the capital city of Texas and its capital of live music, artists from the Yunnan Performing Arts Group embraced Austin audiences with authentic Chinese folk songs, dances, music, magic and acrobatics,” said the Consul General, Gao Yanping. “I believe the performance not only showcases splendid Chinese culture, but also brings Chinese people’s good wishes to Austin people and marks a new starting point for our friendship.”

Known the world over as a creative city, Austin is expanding efforts to promote international arts and cultural exchanges, forging strong partnerships with cities and countries around the world.

As one of the leading local economies in the US, Austin is poised to share not only artistic and cultural resources, but serves as an important leader in business, economic, and trade relations throughout the world.

“Austin is a world class city, and we are incredibly proud to have been selected as a U.S. host city for these extraordinary performers from China,” said City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

About the Yunnan Performance Art Troupe

Yunnan Performance Arts Troupe consists of singers, dancers, musicians, magicians, acrobats from Wenshan Prefecture Traditional Song and Dance Troupe of Yunnan, Yunnan Huadeng Opera Theatre, Diqing Prefecture Traditional Song and Dance Troupe of Yunnan, Yunnan Acrobatic Troupe, China Opera and Dance-Drama Company and China National Song and Dance Ensemble.

Wenshan Prefecture Traditional Song and Dance Troupe is renowned for its diversified songs and dances of Zhuang, Miao(Hmong), Yi, Yao, Dai, Bai, Naxi and other Chinese ethnic peoples. Since its establishment in 1959, the Troupe has performed in Japan, Russia and South Asian countries. Its performance vividly reflects the community life of 26 ethnic groups in Yunnan Province.

Yunnan Huadeng Opera Theatre was established in 1954. Huandeng Opera is a traditional folk art characterized by the combination of drama, singing and dancing, which traces back to She Huo(entertaining shows dedicated to the Gods of Earth and Fire) in Ming Dynasty(15th-17th century).

Since established in 1959, Diqing Prefecture Traditional Song and Dance Troupe has been well-known for its Tibetan songs and dances.

Yunnan Acrobatic Troupe is unique for its folk art style. Since its establishment in 1956, the Troupe has won many proclamations and awards in national competitions. The Troupe has performed in Canada, Japan, Australia, European countries, Mexico, etc.

China Opera and Dance Drama Company is a national arts troupe affiliated with Ministry of Culture of China. In the past half a century, the Company has presented about 100 operas, dance dramas and musical dramas, such as The White Haired Girl, The Savage Land.

China National Song and Dance Ensemble is the combination of The China Song and Dance Ensemble and The Oriental Song and Dance Ensemble. The Ensemble is famed for its skillful artists, exotic songs and dances. The Ensemble has left its footprints across China and visited more than 70 countries in the five continents.

About the City of Austin’s Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office

The Economic Growth and 1Redevelopment Services Office was created to lead the economic development, small business development, cultural arts, and emerging technology programs for the City. Together, the mission of these programs is to create a cultural and economic environment that enhances the vitality of the community in a manner that preserves Austin’s character and environment.

Media Contact:

Kevin Johns
Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services
City of Austin, Texas USA
Office (512) 974-7802