By Daria Kroupoderova
Northwest Asian Weekly
University of Washington (UW) rang in the Chinese Lunar New Year with a gala on Feb. 6. <!–more–>
The Chinese Student Association (CSA) put on the 48th annual gala. CSA is a student organization at UW that is “dedicated toward improving cultural awareness on the campus as well as providing support for those who come from a common background,” according to their website.
“We’ve been planning this (the gala) for three months,” CSA Treasurer Min Shao said. The gala was free to attend for UW students and $5 to the general public. According to the CSA’s Internal Vice President George Yu, the money raised goes back toward the raffle prizes and other miscellaneous expenses.
The gala consisted of eight different performances with two raffles. The raffle prizes included gift cards to restaurants, Chinese yo-yos, and a big stuffed panda bear.
The gala started off with a LQ Lion Dance, where performers dressed as dragons danced on stage and later walked out to engage with the audience. The audience cheered and children tried to pet the dragons that were walking around. “It gave me an adrenaline rush with the dragons walking in the aisles,” CSA member Anran Lin said.
There were dance performances by the Jing Ting Dance Academy and Northwest Chinese School, and the Hengda Dance Academy. A Japanese drumming group, Inochi Taiko, got the audience amped up with their fast beats and energy. The Husky Wushu club also performed different types of martial art moves with performers using swords or fans.
“Husky Wushu is one of my favorites,” Shao said. “Wushu is an important component of the cultural heritage of China. The music was exciting and their moves were so powerful.”
Approximately 450 people attended the gala, according to Yu. Acts were chosen based on their performances and on previous galas. There were also new acts thrown in, including the Seattle Guzheng, a quartet of women playing the guzheng, a Chinese zither.
Joycelin Chui, an international student from Hong Kong, said she really enjoyed the performances because they brought back memories of home and celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Some of her favorites were the Chinese yo-yo performer, Eric Wu, and the Peacock dance by the Hengda Dance Academy.
Overall, “the show went without a hitch,” according to Shao.
“It was a great show for me, and seeing our audience walking out…with smiles on their faces, I can tell it was a good show for them too.” (end)
Daria Kroupoderova can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.