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UKIC / Confucius Institute / Hanfu Show

Hanfu Show

Friday, February 20, 2015

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On Saturday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m., the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) and the Mu Dan Hong Dance Troupe, Lexington’s Chinese classic/folk dance group, presented a Chinese New Year celebration performance entitled “Hanfu Fashion Dance and Ancient Music” for the Lexington community. This performance, held in the Concert Hall of the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts, featured Hanfu fashion through the dynasties set to a program of Chinese music and dance. More than 1,000 audience members were in attendance and showed their appreciation for the evening’s performance with a standing ovation. The show transported the audience to ancient China to reveal the development of Chinese fashion over time. The event featured a rare opportunity to witness the splendor of over four thousand years of Hanfu (汉服), the traditional clothing of Han Chinese ethnic group.
"Chinese New Year is one of those events that really transcends national borders. In the 21st century, it is a global holiday enjoyed by so many, both Chinese and non-Chinese, to celebrate renewal and new beginnings. Participating in that broad and vibrant tradition is a privilege that we are glad to extend to more and more people across the Commonwealth,” UK Associate Provost of Internationalization Susan Carvalho said.
The show presented more than 50 stunning and historically accurate costumes, designed and hand-made by Qi Zhou, designer and producer of the Hanfu show. Zhou, a costume designer who based the designs on her extensive study of the history and art of Chinese fashion, explained, "My vision was to introduce an aesthetic that I knew could be appreciated universally. In a rapidly modernizing world where the consciousness and exchange of different fashions continues to increase, I found the opportunity to highlight one of the pre-eminent fashions of the old world — a uniquely thrilling challenge."
Art Director Shuling Fister felt the beauty of the show would captivate the audience. "Art is boundless and ageless. This show utilizes Hanfu costumes as a platform to bring people back to the ancient China. As one of the ancient civilizations in the world, China enjoys a splendid cultural tradition influenced by Confucian philosophy. A brushstroke and musical tone are conveyed into the harmony of thoughts and feelings. The ideals and spirits of this culture are expressed in classical Chinese dance. In this show, the uniquely beautiful Hanfu costumes are the center that carries out the balance, harmony and attitude of a culture."
Winners of the “2014 UKCI China in My Lens Photo Contest” were announced before the performance. Photographs were selected for cash prizes from those taken on the University of Kentucky Chinese Studies Study Abroad trip and on UKCI Summer trips, including the UKCI Short-term Faculty Trip, Educator Trip, High School Students’ Trip, the UK Jazz Ensemble Tour, and the UK Volleyball Trip. Winners received cash prizes from $50 to $800.