On February 18, the spring festival gala entitled “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” attracted over 2000 audience at Convention Centre Dublin. The splendid gala was hosted by UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland for the 10th time, in conjunction with Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ireland as well as local Chinese community.
The opera troupe from China National Opera and Dance Drama Theatre, along with the students from UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland, presented a brilliant performance which fused traditional classics and modern elements in terms of Chinese dancing, traditional instruments, Face-changing, and Sand painting. H.E. Xu Jianguo, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Tianxing Tan, Vice Minister of Overseas Affairs Office of the State Council of P.R. China, Mr. Sean Barrett, the Ceann Comhairle, and Prof Andrew Deeks, President of University College Dublin attended the event.
Ambassador Xu Jianguo extended his gratitude to the performers: travelling all the way from China, all the performing artists brought the greetings of Motherland to both our compatriots and Irish friends. Erhu Solo entitled “Genie on the String”, performed by Ms. Ye Zhang, demonstrated a vivid scene of the vast expanse of grassland in China. Sand painting and Face-changing, performed by Mr. Dianyong Zhang, enriched the audiences’ understandings of the profoundness of the mysterious country with five thousand years of splendid culture. The two Chinese singers Mr. Zhentao Li and Mr. Zheng Gong, impressed the audience with their expertise in shuttling from Bel canto to modern popular singing back and forth. Additionally, the debut performance of Chinese famous singer Ms. Wenhua Dong aroused the memories of a generation among all compatriots in the Convention Centre.
The charm of Chinese culture was displayed through all kinds of artistic forms. These delicate performances including every detail provided a perfect interpretation of Chinese culture from all aspects: the exquisite instruments and colorful costumes of dancing performance entitled “Colored Pottery Figurine”, the enthusiastic atmosphere that lightened up by Mr. Qi Li, Champion of popular TV show “Voice of China”, the elegance and softness that presented by the dancing performance entitled “The Spirit of Water”, and the delightful movement of the performance "Colorful Celebrations".
Mr. Sean Barrett, the Ceann Comhairle, recalled his memories toward the visit of President Xi Jinping (Vice President then) to Ireland and his experience during his visit in China. He emphasized during his speech that the Sino-Irish relations have been developing to a higher level. Also, Mr. Sean Barrett was impressed by the performance of the students from UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland. The short drama entitled “Performing at Spring Festival Gala” was applauded not only for the Chinese New Year greetings delivered by the Irish students, but also for their fluent Mandarin in singing Chinese songs. Meanwhile, the cheerful chorus with the techniques of polyphony appealed to the audience with beautiful melody of Chinese music.
At the beginning of the Gala, the 2016 Confucius Medals Award ceremony was held and chaired by Professor Liming Wang, Director of UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland. Professor Andrew Deeks announced the recipients of the 2015 and 2016 Confucius Medal Awards. Mr. Sean Barrett presented the medals to Ambassador Xu Jianguo and Mr. Frank Keane, the founder and Chairman of Motor Import Ltd respectively, for their tremendous contributions to Sino-Irish relations and the supports to the construction of the new building of UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland.