Chinese New Year celebration features traditional & contemporary performing arts at UB

Performers at a Chinese New Year celebration.

Release Date: January 19, 2017

“The Confucius Institute looks forward to this collaboration with the Chinese Club every year. ”
Stephen Dunnett, professor and vice provost for international education at UB

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI) and the Chinese Club of Western New York (CC-WNY) present their seventh annual Chinese New Year celebration on Jan. 28 from 2:30-5:00 p.m. at UB’s Center for the Arts (CFA).

The popular free event will feature members of the Chinese Club and students affiliated with the Confucius Institute presenting impressive traditional and contemporary performances that illustrate the dynamism of Chinese culture through music, dance, storytelling, theatrical presentations and martial arts.

“The Confucius Institute envisions Chinese New Year as a celebration for people of all ages and backgrounds, with Chinese and non-Chinese coming together to enjoy the beauty and majesty of Chinese culture through the ages,” says Stephen Dunnett, professor and vice provost for international education at UB and chair of the UBCI board of advisors.

“The Confucius Institute looks forward to this collaboration with the Chinese Club every year,” he says, “and the performers have worked very hard to present an excellent program for the community.”

This year’s celebration takes place on the day of the Chinese New Year, a holiday based on the lunar calendar. Each annual cycle is represented by one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and 2017 is the year of the rooster.

In China, the arrival of the lunar New Year — also called the Spring Festival — is a public holiday. Most businesses are closed for at least five days, starting on New Year’s Eve, and schools and universities are on break for about a month.

“We are ready to welcome in the Chinese New Year by presenting to the audience a beautiful showcase of Chinese culture,” says Emily Sheng, president of CC-WNY. “Approximately 150 adults and children from a variety of CC-WNY dance and chorus groups will perform at the gala show.”

Highlights of the 2017 show include “Dunhuang Impressions,” a dance featuring graceful and famous images as depicted in various Buddhist stories; “The Jade Dancer,” a piece originating from the opera “Confucius” showcasing the cultural wealth of the spring and autumn (ChunQiu) period in China; an elegant traditional Chinese Cheongsam (Qipao) fashion show; and Yang's tai chi sword performance. 

The celebration includes a lion dance presented by the Gold Summit Martial Arts Institute.

The program also features:

  • Graceful dances by students in Chinese language classes at Nardin Academy and Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart.
  • A popular song entitled “My Chinese Heart” by City Honors students Nicholas Gorman and Oscar Woodrich.
  • A solo performance on the traditional Chinese two-stringed instrument, called an erhu, by Wei (Shirley) Huang, Chinese language teacher at Elmwood Franklin School.
  • Humorous presentations in the traditional Chinese style of san ju ban (which means three and a half sentences) by students from Nichols School and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.

The Confucius Institute, which places instructors in classrooms as early as kindergarten, combining Chinese cultural education with Mandarin language instruction, will present its annual awards recognizing student excellence in Chinese language study.

CC-WNY is the largest not-for-profit Chinese ethnic organization in the area. The club provides year round events, activities and education for its members and the Western New York community.

For more information, contact CC-WNY President Emily Sheng at, or UBCI Associate Director Bruce Acker at 716-645-7919 or Details are also available at or

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