A dragon dance is performed at the 14th Xilin Lantern Festival in Chicago. (Photo by Xu Guangqing)
CHICAGO, April 28 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese cultural performance was staged in a theater in the western suburbs of Chicago on Saturday night, when the 14th Xilin Lantern Festival began with beats of drums and drew the audience into an audio and visual enjoyment.
Some 75 guests and local performers presented dances, traditional Chinese music, Chinese songs, acrobatics and Kung Fu to more than 1,000 people.
Liu Lina, a renowned acrobatics performer who has been listed in the Guinness World Records twice, showed her "artistry on the toes" by keeping five normal-size umbrellas turning with hands and feet, drawing applause and cheering.
Guzheng is a traditional Chinese musical instrument. Guan Menghua, a renowned Guzheng player, presented two pieces of music: "Girl's Love", an interlude from Chinese TV series "The Dream of Red Mansions"; and "See You Again", a track commissioned for the soundtrack of the 2015 American action film "Furious 7". To play American music with a traditional Chinese musical instrument has given people a unique experience.
Male chorus "Nanni Bay" brought the smell of China's Loess Plateau to the audience, with all singers wearing sheepskin vests and white towels on their head.
A song-and-dance duet, a two-person variety comedy routine from northeast China, drew waves of laughter continuously.
In an address before the performance, Chinese Deputy Consul General in Chicago Huang Liming said cultural exchanges are beneficial for China and the United States. As the world's two largest countries mark the 40th anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic ties, the festival is of special meaning in helping local American people understand Chinese culture.
"The community-based festival is down to earth and has Chinese characteristics," Linda Yang, chair of planning committee of the 14th Xilin Lantern Festival, told Xinhua.
To host such a festival was intended to spread Chinese culture in the local communities. Nowadays it has become a brand name cultural sharing event with participants from neighborhood schools together with some guest players, Yang, who is also executive director of Xilin Association, said proudly.
Quality and entertainment are two features of the event, Yang said.
Xilin Association, a non-profit organization committed to serving the needs of families in the greater Chicago area, started to host the lantern festival in 2006. The festival used to be held in February as a Chinese tradition, but due to severe weather conditions in Chicago, the festival has been moved to the end of April.