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Hopkins Center brings artists from China's Yunnan Province for first North American performances

For the first time in North American history, musicians and dancers from the Yi, Wa, Dai and Naxi ethnic minority groups in Southwest China's Yunnan Province will share their cultural heritage  in several performances and workshops at Dartmouth starting on Monday, Sept. 26.

Artists from the Yi ethnic group
Hopkins Center for the Arts Programming Director Margaret Lawrence traveled to China's Yunnan Province to research Yunnan Revealed, where she met these artists from the Yi ethnic group. (Photos by Margaret Lawrence)

The program, Yunnan Revealed, will include traditional folk dance and music, embroidery, instrument-making and pictograph demonstrations. Margaret Lawrence, the Hopkins Center for the Arts Programming Director, said, "This project celebrates the extraordinary cultures of several Chinese ethnic minorities-and it presents a rare chance to explore their fates as China swiftly globalizes. There are parallels between challenges Native Americans have faced and those faced by indigenous Chinese."

Lawrence is co-producer and curator of Yunnan Revealed. She explained that the North American performances are intended to encourage the preservation of cultural heritage of the ethnic minority groups in Yunnan Province, China; one of the most culturally diverse places in the world.

 "Ethnic minorities of Yunnan are at a critical moment in history, as global changes affect even the most remote Chinese villages," Lawrence said. "How can they preserve their languages, customs and legends? The first step may be to share them with us."

Jeffrey H. James, Director of the Hopkins Center, added, "I'm proud that, as is often the case, the Hopkins Center is at the forefront of exploring a cultural phenomenon with both societal and artistic implications. At a time when China is at the center of so much international interest and study, this project will give us access to one of the otherwise untold stories on the Chinese scene. The breadth of this residency-which is unparalleled for the Yunnan Revealed U.S. tour-will provide the Dartmouth community with a unique opportunity for inspiration and learning."

In addition to Dartmouth, Yunnan Revealed will be hosted by the Kennedy Center, the Asia Society, the World Music Institute, the American Museum of Natural History, Whitman College, Connecticut College, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.

The New England Foundation for the Arts is helping fund Yunnan Revealed. The tour also has support from the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China.

Event Details:
Monday, September 26
7 p.m.
Collis Common Ground

For more information, call Hop Outreach at 646-2010 or visit the website.


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Last Updated: 12/17/08