The University of Arizona will host the Chinese New Year Festival on Saturday, featuring Chinese music ensembles, martial arts masters and Chinese folk dance groups.
Presented by the Confucius Institute at the UA and the Tucson Sino Choir, the Jan. 25 event – the largest of its kind in the state – will be held at 2 p.m. at the UA's Centennial Hall.
More than 2,000 people are expected to attend and more than 200 performers from 15 local, statewide and international groups will present Chinese music, dances, songs, martial arts, tai chi, folk arts, acrobatics, Peking Opera selections and more.
"It has become a tradition for the CIUA to host the Chinese New Year show here in Tucson," Zhao Chen, co-director of the CIUA, said of the UA's Chinese New Year Festival, also known as the Spring Festival.
"The Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona is committed to serving the Tucson community’s interest in learning about Chinese language and culture," Chen said.
Directed by CIUA senior program coordinator Larry Lang, the fifth annual festival will combine Chinese melody with jazzy accents with performances by the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and the UA Jazz Band, led by UA pianist and conductor Jeff Haskell.
"Sharing our cultures will create better understandings between communities and improve the community, providing individuals with a global view," Lang said. "A global view will make our next generation and the generations to come ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century."
Chen said he hopes the festival will be a bridge between Chinese and American culture. One such highlight of the festival is a grand chorus of singing groups from Tucson and Phoenix, which will create a fusion of the East and the West.
The 2014 Chinese New Year is Jan. 31, heralding the Year of the Horse.
"Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in Chinese culture and has over 4,000 years in history," said Lang, also the Tucson Sino Choir's music director.
"It is the time for families and friends to be gathering with songs, dance and of course, the delicious food, to celebrate the New Year's arrival with new hope," he said. "If you have never been in China, this is a unique opportunity for you to have a Chinese experience right here in Tucson."