Media/Great “Photo Op” Alert – Friday, June 11th at 3:00 p.m.

The 2010 Chinese Culture Festival will have demonstrations, lessons, and activities with students from M.S.131 Dr. Sun Yat Sen School. Students will participate in three different collaborative programs, with each lasting 30 to 45 minutes.

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN AN AFTERNOON OF CHINESE CULTURAL WITH STUDENTS FROM M.S. 131 IN CHINATOWN AND  SHADOW PUPPET EXTRAORDINAIRE STEPHEN KAPLIN (BROADWAY’S THE LION KING).

  • 3:00 – 5:00 pm, Invitation/Press-Only Activities with middle-school students from M.S. 131 Sun Yat Sen School – Chinese Calligraphy, Chinese Martial Arts, Overview of China (history, culture and customs), and Student Artistic Interpretations of the day.
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm, Tiger Tales, Chinese Theater Works Puppet Show, Free and Open to the Public (ages 6 and up) with Stephen Kaplin, who designed the shadow puppets for Julie Taymor’s Lion King on Broadway.
  • 6:00pm: Food Tasting.

WHO/SPONSORS: The Confucius Institute at Pace University, the YMCA 21st Century Community Learning Center in Chinatown, and the Pace University Community and Volunteer Mobilization AmeriCorps program

WHEN: Friday, June 11 at 3:00 pm.  Puppet show, open to the public, begins at 5:00 pm.

WHERE: 21st Century Community Learning Center @ MS 131 CHINATOWN YMCA, 100 Hester Street, New York, NY 10002

WHAT/2010 CHINESE CULTURAL FESTIVAL (invitation/press only) – demonstrations, lessons, and activities with students from M.S.131 Dr. Sun Yat Sen School. Students will participate in three different collaborative programs, with each lasting 30 to 45 minutes. The first, Chinese Art Forms, will be facilitated by David Shen, who will provide demonstrations in calligraphy writing, followed by an active lesson in which the students, too, will practice the art of calligraphy. Chinese Martial Arts, the second program, will be conducted by Lin Ai Wei, founder of Jing Xin Yuan (Bensonhurst Brooklyn), who will give a brief history of martial arts in China, as well as a demonstration. The third program, Magical China, will provide, through video clips and other visuals, a brief history of China, and its culture and customs.  Students will then be encouraged to draw, paint and write words that reflect what they learned throughout the day. After the completion of the programs, there will be a food tasting, in which participants can sample a variety of Chinese foods from local Chinatown vendors.

WHAT/TIGER TALES SHADOW PUPPET SHOW (FREE and open to the public).  Drawing on China’s two-thousand-year history of shadow puppetry, Tiger Tales features an artful blend of Eastern and Western, ancient and contemporary techniques that is the hallmark of all Chinese Theater Works (CTW) productions.  The show has been widely-acclaimed and performed across America, South Korea, Taiwan and China, notably at the 2005 First International Shadow Play Festival in Tangshan, China, where it won citations for Best Performance, Best Short Plays, and Best Voice-Over Narration. At the 2009 Shanghai International Puppet Festival, Tiger Tales was honored with awards for Best Directing, Best Puppet Design and Arts Innovation. Tiger Tales is performed in English accompanied by traditional Chinese music.

Tiger Tales is based in the popular wisdom of Chinese folktales and literature.  The production deals humorously with issues of power and survival of the small and powerless in the modern jungle, where the proverb, “working for the emperor is as dangerous as working for the tiger” still holds true.  The stories are narrated by a wise old rabbit, telling her grand-daughter some of the adventures of her eventful life, including her hair-raising encounters with Tiger, the reigning King of the jungle.

CTW’s Stephen Kaplin, who designed the shadow puppets for Julie Taymor’s Lion King and Ping Chong’s Cathay (for which he won a Hewes Award), has created new acetate figures for this production based on the 80-year-old, leather shadow antique figures.  In performance, Kaplin solos as the live story teller creating unique and detailed voices for more than a dozen of the characters in the show.

MEDIA CONTACT/RSVP: Samuella Becker, Pace Public Information, sbecker2@pace.edu, 212-346-1637 or 917-734-5172

ABOUT THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE AT PACE UNIVERSITY. Founded in 2009, it is the first university-based Confucius Institute in New York City and one of 70 in the US and over 300 around the world created by China to spread knowledge of Chinese language and culture. Pace’s Confucius Institute expects to inaugurate Chinese language classes for both students and professional groups; encourage interdisciplinary scholarship on China through collaborative research, conferences and public lectures; develop innovative teaching and learning techniques and institutional exchanges; integrate study of China into the university’s liberal arts and professional curricula; and sponsor seminars for professionals in business, education, film and theater. www.pace.edu/confucius

ABOUT PACE UNIVERSITY. For nearly 104 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

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