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CAAM Chinese Dance Theater celebrates 25 years of bringing the finest Chinese dance to St. Paul, the Twin Cities and the Midwest with one of its most dazzling shows to date: “Keepsakes: A Chinese Love Story” on 7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, and 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 29 at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul.

Artistic director and celebrated choreographer Lili Teng works her magic once again in this world premiere of an original dance drama that invites audiences to enter a world of Chinese rituals, celebrations and matchmaking, where romantic love is pitted against ancient tradition.

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By Greg Hugh

Visiting Minnesota for the first time, Hong Lei, consul general of the Consulate General of The People's Republic of China in Chicago, spent several days here recently.  His schedule included diverse schedule of events: a luncheon with the business community, a meeting with the University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, a reception with 70 Chinese visiting scholars, a campus lecture primarily for Chinese students and a dinner reception at Mall of America. 

More than 250 students from China currently attending the University and other invited guests attended Hong’s speech, “Let History be Guidance to Future: Jointly Building A New Type of Major Country Relationship between China and US is the Historic Trend,” was delivered in English at the University’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. 

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By Judy Hohmann, Dragon Festival 

Nearly 14,000 visitors to the 14th annual Dragon Festival at Lake Phalen and Phalen Park on a sunny weekend in July celebrated the competitive spirit of the dragon-boat races and Minnesota's diverse Asian cultures and traditions.  Included were Asian-American performers, martial arts demonstrations,  children activities and, of course, ethnic foods.  Phalen Park also houses the “Meditation” sculpture by Changsha artist Lei Yixin, created and dedicated in July 2006. 

The opening of the Dragon Festival was commemorated with a traditional "lion dance" and performed by pan-Asian artists: the Green Dragon Kung Fu Club, Hui Lucky Dragon Dance’s group and Hmong Qeej Musicians.  Hmong Elder Uncle Charles Vu led a special Hmong blessing.   Add a comment

By Ralph Beha  

Every two years, Minneapolis’ sister city of Harbin, China, hosts a music festival, with more than 100 music and theater performing groups from around the world.  This August, the Minnesota Chapter of the US-China Peoples Friendship Association arranged for and supported a U.S.-based ensemble, The Braided Candle, to attend and perform at the 33rd China Harbin Summer Music Festival.  

Greenman, Gao and Beha at the Harbin Grand
The Braided Candle is a collaboration between two master musicians in widely divergent musical traditions and genres, who first came together in 2011 to create a unique blend of traditional Chinese and traditional EasternEuropean Jewish folk music.  Gao Hong, a master performer and teacher of the pipa (a Chinese pear-shaped lute), has lived in the U.S. since 1994 and performs internationally and teaches in the World Music program at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.  Steven Greenman composes and performs as a solo violinist with symphony orchestras as well as ensembles with other musicians playing klezmer, Romani and other Eastern European styles.  During their August 8 and 9 performances in Harbin, Greenman also performed excerpts from the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto, accompanied by local Harbin pianist Li Mengtong.

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By Greg Hugh | [email protected]

The Chinese Heritage Foundation (CHF) recently honored Bill and Mary Ferrell, owners of Royal Foods, headquartered in Hopkins, Minn., for being long-time supporters of CHF’s event “A Passage to China” that had been held annually at Mall of America since 2006.

Yin Simpson, CHF board member, and I met with the Ferrells at their office and presented them with a framed painting along with a letter of appreciation from CHF Executive Director Pearl Bergad.

I “recruited” the Ferrells to provide storage space for the ever-accumulating props for the event since 2005, which included two life-size terra cotta warriors that must weigh thousands of pounds!  At that time, I was committee chair of “A Passage to China” and I was able to solicit the Ferrells’ support because they were great neighbors of mine.  Not only did the Ferrells provide CHF with the much needed storage space, they also were kind enough to provide transportation of all this material to and from their warehouse in Hopkins to Mall of America each year.

Disclosure: Greg Hugh, publisher of China Insight, which partnered with CHF to create “A Passage to China,” served as CHF’s Board chair from 2005 to 2014.  China Insight has chronicled the event over the years and you can read these articles at www.chinainsight.info, check the May issues under the “Past issues” tab

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Our goal is to develop a mutual understanding of each other’s cultures and business environments and to foster U.S.-China cultural and business harmony.