This past Saturday Central Connecticut State University welcomed the year of the snake in style by hosting the Chinese New Years Gala. This event was a collaborative effort between the newly established Confucius Institute at CCSU, the Chinese Culture Center, the East Asia Center, and the Connecticut Chinese Language Academy.
Saturday’s event began with a VIP reception held in the Constitution room on Centrals main campus. Governor Malloy was in attendance, delivering a short speech on his aims with regards to China. Malloy, the first CT state Governor to visit China since Governor O’Neil established the sister state relationship in the 80’s, spoke on the importance of reinvigorating our sister state connection with Shandong Province and maintaining a positive and mutually beneficial relationship. He also spoke on continued economic growth and development with China, focusing on educational language development and exchange programs, and making Connecticut a more attractive destination for Chinese tourism (an industry that has proven to be sharply on the rise).
Following the VIP reception the Gala itself began, held in CCSU’s Welte auditorium. The Gala opened with an address by current Chinese Culture Center President Ashley Yen followed by keynote speaker and world famous forensic analyst Dr. Henry Lee. Also speaking at the event was CCSU provost Dr. Carl Lovitt, East Asia Center director Dr. Helen Abadiano, U.S.-China Center Director Erik Conqvist, and the Director of the Confucius Institute and Center for Public Policy and Social Research as CCSU Steven Kliger.
The opening act of the show was done by the Asian Performing Arts School which performed the Dragon & Lion Dance, a traditional dance of the Chinese New Year. This was followed by several adorable dance performances done by the Connecticut Chinese Language Academy Dance Class.
Other performances included a fabulous solo by famed soprano Xufeng Liu; a folk dance by the Hartford Chinese Dance Troupe; a comical song performed by the Chinese students of Simsbury high school; a song performed by All Connecticut Chinese Chorus; a crowd favorite, Xiaodi Yang performed an impressive display of acrobatics; East Culture Arts performed a dance and skit that took us around the world; a collaborative chorus performance done by the Kang Hua Singers of Greater Connecticut and members from The Hartford Chorale.
All said and done the three-hour performance exposed the audience to a truly unique and varied set of fabulously performed routines, ranging all the way from martial arts and acrobatics to magic and song and dance numbers. Between the speeches done by Governor Malloy, Dr. Henry Lee and the others speakers, as well as the amazing talent showcased in the performances themselves, it’s safe to say that the year of the snake received an enthusiastic and entertaining welcome at this year’s Chinese New Years Gala hosted at CCSU.
***For pictures taken at the event, please visit our Photo Albums tab and click on "Chinese New Years Gala"