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Celebrating the Year of the Ox with the Renmin University Affiliated High School Dance Troupe!



From January 28 to 30, 2009, the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota hosted the acclaimed Renmin University Affiliated High School (RDFZ) Dance Troupe, from Beijing.  The troupe, which has won the First Prize during Beijing Student Art Festival for years, has given highly acclaimed performances in many U.S. cities in 2006 and 2007. During their third tour in the United States, the RDFZ students performed two shows at The University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Concert Hall, including a matinee for K-12 students and an evening performance for the general public.

The performances featured traditional style Chinese dances, including Chinese ethnic minority dances.  The performances included Chinese Spring Festival, Rain in the Bamboo Forest, Adoration of the Lotus, a dozen other dances and two martial arts performances. School students and the public enjoyed the highly professional performance and the rich and colorful costumes illuminated by a rich array of stage lights.

This brief visit to the Twin Cities was also full of new experiences and excitement.  Students visited the Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe theme park and experienced American family life during a home stay.  The group also visited The Blake School in Minneapolis, thanks to the warm invitation by Chinese teacher Shirley Johnson and social studies teacher Randy Roberts.

While visiting The Blake School, the RDFZ students enjoyed lunch in the school cafeteria with their American counterparts.  Students ate together, made introductions and sang even sang Happy Birthday in Chinese for a Blake student who turned fifteen that day.  After lunch, the Chinese students paired up with Chinese language students and were given a tour of the school.  During the last half hour of the visit, RDFZ and Blake students gathered in an assembly room and played games that required Blake students to demonstrate their Chinese language skills and the RDFZ students to practice their English.  The visit ended with a solo in English by an RDFZ student and then two Blake students responded with a Chinese pop song, which won cheers from all present.