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February 20, 2007 > Silk, swords and fiddles

Silk, swords and fiddles

Mainland Chinese student performers visit Fremont

Wishes of happiness and fortune that presage every Chinese New Year came true early for students and staff of Chadbourne Elementary School and Mission San Jose High School in Fremont. While many who celebrate the beginning of another lunar calendar year were still preparing for festivities, these schools were the recipients of an early stroke of luck. A group of student performers from Mainland China were diverted from appearances in San Francisco and needed another Bay Area venue.

The group composed of 24 students from 8 - 12 years old had performed in Los Angeles and were about to leave for Northern California when a scheduling conflict disrupted their plans. Fremont Unified School District board member Ivy Wu was contacted by Irene Cheng, Ed.D., president of CFM Educational Services a sponsor of the tour and quickly arranged for a visit on February 8th to Chadbourne classrooms and a scheduled Chinese New Year Luncheon. Chadbourne students were treated to a presentation of music, dance and martial arts by the visitors. Colorful costumes and the energetic performances enthralled the young audience. Looking on was Secretary General Zhou Yuxin, Director of International Cooperation Projects, China National Children's Center. The next evening, an extended version of the performance was presented to the public at Mission San Jose High School.

Director Zhou noted that the 24 children of the traveling performance group, representing nine schools in the Beijing area, were selected from over 1000 students. These children had been preparing for only two months. It was hard to believe the short preparation schedule since the costumes, poise and movement of the performers were equivalent to those much older and with many years of rehearsal. For members of our community lucky enough to see these performances, the Year of the Boar started on a fortuitous note.

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