Chinese Dance Troupe Performs In Cook Islands

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Group’s visit part of cultural exchange program

By Rashneel Kumar

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, May 28, 2015) – About 200 people turned up to watch a performance by the Leshan Song and Dance Troupe from Sichuan Province in China at the Avarua National Auditorium on Tuesday night.

The 22-member group visited the country as part of cultural exchange programme hosted by the Ministry of Culture, People’s Republic of China and the Cultural Department of Sichuan Province.

The two-hour show was also supported by the Ministry of Cultural Development, Cook Islands and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (Cook Islands and Niue).

It was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Culture Teariki Heather and Finance Minister Mark Brown.

Ministry of Cultural Development secretary Sonny Williams said it was the group’s fourth visit to Cook Islands since 2011.

"We encourage this sort of cultural exchange programmes for our people.

"Sometimes there are requests made to us from groups like these to perform here. We also make requests for artists on the world performing circuit who are visiting New Zealand or Australia and they extend their trip to Cooks Islands to give our people something new."

The troupe presented 13 items which included a Chinese opera singer who performed the traditional New Zealand Maori song Pokarekare Ana.

Locals also took part in the programme.

The Leshan Song and Dance Troupe is described as a ‘first-class art organisation’, actively pursuing cooperation with foreign arts organisations, as well as developing the international performance market in China.

Leshan, a world famous tourist destination known for its history and culture, is located in China’s southwest.

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