China Week highlights everything from opera to martial arts

Neatly coinciding with Multicultural Week is a celebration involving the biggest culture of them all. This week is also China Week, featuring a martial arts performance, a Beijing opera demonstration with audience participation, traditional Chinese painting and a Chinese-language speech contest. Rounding out China Week, York’s first, is a movie in Mandarin.

Here are the scheduled events, from today:

Jing Ju: Unveiling the secrets of Beijing opera
Today, 4:30-6pm
Founders 024E (Junior Common Room)

Hong Kong-born William Lau, who has a York MA in dance and specializes in “male playing female” Beijing opera roles, and China-born Tu Ji-sheng, who began studying opera forms in Shanghai in 1961, will give a history and overview of Beijing opera and the various roles and styles. As part of the audience participation, a volunteer will wear a full costume, audience members will learn how to laugh and cry in a stylized voice, and they will learn some simple hand gestures to depict different character roles.

Chinese traditional painting (in Chinese and English)
Feb.  1, 4:30-6pm
Curtis Lecture Halls G

Well-known painter Peng Ma demonstrates traditional Chinese painting. Ma was an artist and professor of fine arts at China’s National Fine Arts Institute for 30 years before immigrating to Canada in 1989. Since then he has dedicated himself to studying Western and Asian art and maintains a studio in Toronto.

Martial arts performance (in English)
Feb. 2, 4:30-5.30pm
Founders 024E (Junior Common Room)

Performed by Antonio Santilli, stadium & equipment assistant, Facilities Services.

Chinese-language speech contest (in Chinese)
Feb. 2, 4:30-6pm
Vari Hall 3009

A panel of five judges will assess speeches in Mandarin by York students of Chinese. Prizes will be awarded to the top three. Even those who do not speak Mandarin may enjoy listening to the sound of the language.

Movie showing: A World Without Thieves
Feb. 3, 4:30-6pm
Curtis Lecture Halls D

The Mandarin-language movie, directed by Xiaogang Feng and starring Andy Lau and Rene Liu, follows two professional thieves who find their consciences challenged when they meet a naïve, honest farmer in a train station.

Full details and Chinese-character renderings can be found on the China Week Web site. The events are sponsored by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics in York’s Faculty of Arts and the Office of Education of the Toronto consulate general of the People’s Republic of China.