Preston is planning to mark the Chinese New Year big-style.
Next month the city will play host to a one-off performance by some of China’s most respected entertainment troupes.
The Charter Theatre is hosting a unique night of song, dance and acrobatics - which includes a performance by the Chengdu Nationalities Troupe, whose rendition of “Many Blessings Fill Your World” featured in the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.
They will be joined by Chengdu Arts Troupe during a night which will see the exotic costumes and unusual musical instruments of the Far East transported to Preston for the start of the year of the snake.
The event will include performances by four different nationalities from Sichuan: Han, Yi, Tibetan, and Qiang, which all have their own distinctive music, dance, culture, costume and language.
This extraordinary glimpse into an often unseen part of China has been made possible by UCLan’s Confucius Institute, a partnership set-up in conjunction with the Beijing International Studies University, to promote the teaching of Chinese languages and culture in the UK.
Since its establishment in 2008, UCLan’s CI has seen more than 550 students visit China to study its language and culture.
More than 100 headteachers and heads of departments from schools across the county have taken part in sponsored educational visits to China with the chance to learn about the Chinese education system.
Feixia Yu, director of UCLan’s Confucius Institute, said: “With China emerging as the next global superpower the whole world is becoming more interested in Chinese language and culture.
“By bringing some of these incredible artists to Preston to celebrate Chinese New Year we aim to give audiences a rare opportunity to experience Chinese culture for themselves and see some of the amazingly talented performers that exist in the world’s most populous country.”
Among acts at the show on Tuesday, February 12, will be a troupe of Tibetan tap dancers, fire breathing, and a “face changing” performance, which will showcase the ancient skill of ‘Bian Lian’, rapid change of mask, an art which almost died out but has been revived and is demonstrated to thrilling effect.
Tickets are £15 (£10 concessions) from the Guild Hall with a discount given for groups.