China Association of Iowa City Area to Host Performing Arts Night in Honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

This Friday, in honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Iowa City Area Chinese Association will host a wide range of performances this Friday, April 29 at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts.

Grace Kreber

Yifeng Zhang, a dancer who performs in An Evening of Chinese Performing Art poses for a portrait at the Field House in Iowa City on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Iowa City Area Chinese Association will host a performing arts evening to explore a range of cultures and artistic mediums.

The show will take place Friday, April 29 at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts. The ICACA performance will consist of 11 acts that range from singing, dancing, as well as instrumental performances. Each performance has a different theme to pay homage to Chinese and Asian island cultures.

Performing groups include Fuquan Wei and Ming Hi, Chinese Classic Dance Club, Preucil School of Music Quartet, ICACA Girls Choir, ICACA Youth String Ensemble and Tony Chang, Children’s Choir Club, Chinese Folk Dance Club, Wes High’s Cadenza led by Jonathan Chen, the University of Iowa Popping Dance Club and the Chinese Choir Club.

Yifeng Zhang is a fifth-year graduate student at UI. Zhang is part of the Chinese Classic Dance Club and will perform Huo Yuan Jio and Hong Yin dances.

The Hong Yin is a traditional Chinese dance duo – Hong Yin is an important city in China, and the inspiration for the dance comes from the paintings in the Hong Yin caves.

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The ancient Silk Road was a major trade route for goods and culture traveling to Europe. The Silk Road allowed Buddhist culture to spread across Europe.

“Mogao Cave is one of the main places of centralization of these caves, where people entered and could see paintings inside the caves, and they usually depict what people now think are Buddhas on the walls “, said Zhang.

Na Li is the producer of the event and said the dance will attempt to capture what their ancestors saw in the paintings in these caves.

“He was inspired by the position of the Buddha. It’s really unique the way you see them dancing, it shows in the shape of their hands and legs,” Li said.

The age range in this performance is 5 years old to adults. The show will begin with a performance of the song “Where the Peach Blossoms are in Full Bloom” performed by Fuquan Wei and pianist Ming Hu.

“When you listen to the song, you imagine yourself in the mountain full of peach blossoms,” Li said. “Peach blossoms bloom in spring, so we start the event with the spring song.”

The Children’s Choir Club will be the fourth act of the performance and will perform the song “How Far I’ll Go” from the Disney movie Moana. This performance will explore Hawaiian culture through the event, Li said.

Yaling Yi, the founder and former president of ICACA, wrote in an email to The Iowan Daily that ICACA’s mission is to build a diverse, supportive and inclusive local community through a series of cultural events and community volunteerism.

“We pride ourselves on providing high quality multicultural events in Iowa City, Coralville and surrounding areas,” Yi wrote.

This event was originally scheduled to take place during Lunar New Year in January, but was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

Li said the mayor of Coralville and the mayor of Iowa City are expected to attend the event and that she ultimately hopes to have an audience of between 200 and 300 people.