Langley welcomed a new celebration to its traditional Thanksgiving festivities earlier this month, and judging by the enthusiastic response it’s likely to become a mainstay.
Honouring “family and harvest,” the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala was a dazzling cornucopia of Chinese culture featuring group and solo performances of classical Chinese dance by more than 200 local artists, members of the Langley Chinese Dancing Troupe and ranging in age from 3 to 73.
The two-hour production offered a diverse lineup of entertainment that included a riveting martial arts demonstration set to music, Chinese opera singers, soloists singing traditional and popular songs, and a grand finale displaying stunning fashions from ancient Chinese dynasties up to present day.
The evening was the inspiration of the recently formed Langley Chinese Arts Association, a non-profit organization that wishes “to promote and integrate the legacy of traditional Chinese culture” through entertaining productions like the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala.
It also hopes to involve more members of the growing Chinese population in Langley into the family-like atmosphere the association is creating.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is especially meaningful to the Chinese who have emigrated recently, evoking fond memories of their hometowns and family back in China.
Most of all, the evening provided the dance troupes with an opportunity to showcase their talents.
Held at the Bell Performing Arts Centre, Sunday, Oct. 8, the sold-out show was a spectacular kaleidoscope of colorful costumes, fans and ribbons.
Organizers Michelle Dong and Erin Deng are thrilled by the overwhelming response of their inaugural production.
“So many people have called to thank us and congratulate us on the gala,” says Dong.
“It is so encouraging,” adds Deng. “We will definitely host another gala next year.”
Actually, the next offering may come sooner than that. The ambitious association has already started working on a similar event for Chinese New Year.
~ contributed piece by Jim Tulloch