Celebrate the Year of the Dragon!

Music, dancing and a spectacular fireworks display will mark the arrival of the Year of the Dragon at Lakeside Arts Centre, at The University of Nottingham.

Local residents are invited to join the celebration of Chinese New Year at a free event on Sunday, January 29th.

Outdoor celebrations at Lakeside Arts Centre will feature traditional lion and dragon dances — performed by local schoolchildren and members of the city’s Chinese community — plus Chinese music and photography, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display over the University lake.

The event, which runs from 4.30pm-6pm, will also include the first-ever performances of several new works created especially for young East Midlands dancers by Chinese choreographer Rong Tao, visiting Nottingham from the city of Chongqing, and guest Choreographer, Jose Aguido.

Celebrate across the county

A programme of events is also being held with partner organisations across Broxtowe, Gedling, Rushcliffe and Nottingham city in the build-up to Sunday 29th.

On Sunday January 22nd, families in Rushcliffe have the chance to try a range of Chinese-inspired arts and crafts activities, as well as the opportunity to listen to traditional Chinese stories from musician and storyteller Ling Peng. The event runs 2pm-4pm at the Sir Julien Cahn Pavilion, West Park, Loughborough Road in West Bridgford.

Also on the 22nd, families can come to Lakeside for an afternoon of free workshops run by the University’s Confucius Institute. The workshops taking place between 1-3pm include paper cutting, calligraphy, a fan dance demonstration by Rong Tao and a Chinese Tea Ceremony.

On Saturday January 28th, Broxtowe Borough Council in partnership with the Beeston Bid and Bartons will be holding a packed programme of events in Beeston Square from 10am-1pm, including a family procession, sword dance, Kung Fu demonstration, dragon dancing and more. A free event at Bartons from 12-4pm will feature cultural workshops including painting, calligraphy, Tai Chi, puppets and storytelling.

Also on the 28th, at Arnot Hill Park in Arnold, Gedling Borough Council and Gedling Play Forum present a series of Chinese-inspired arts and crafts including dragon-themed costumes, lantern-making and a lantern parade around the lake at 5.15pm.

A full programme of Chinese New Year events in Nottingham is available here , with a Chinese language version here.

Shona Powell, Director of Lakeside at The University of Nottingham, said: “Chinese New Year has become a popular part of Nottingham’s cultural landscape in recent years. Links between China and Nottinghamshire are becoming ever stronger and we hope that this year’s event will be a fitting celebration of Spring Festival — the most widely celebrated event in the Asian calendar.”

Photography and dance

A stunning exhibition at the Wallner Gallery in the DH Lawrence Pavilion at Lakeside features the work of documentary photographers Yuan-Hsiung Wang and Xue Qian. Their series of photographs, on display until February 20th, aims to capture the rapidly changing nature of the environment and the way of life and culture of some of the 56 different ethnic groups who live in China.

The exhibition has been made possible by a grant from Cascade, previously known as the University’s Annual Fund, which is made up of donations from University of Nottingham alumni.

Meanwhile University of Nottingham students from the Nottingham Confucius Institute, The School of Contemporary Chinese Studies and Nottingham Chinese Students and Scholars Association are joining forces with the Weinan University Arts Troupe to present a special Chinese New Year Gala at the Albert Hall, Nottingham on Friday February 3rd.

The performance includes traditional and modern Chinese music, song and dance, Peking opera, Chinese martial arts, calligraphy and musical instrument pieces. It will also showcase the dazzling talents of the awarding-winning performers from Weinan in north western China.

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