Huge dragons and lions swept into the gym, students danced with lanterns and played ancient instruments and there were an abundance of colourful costumes last Thursday, as Chantrell Creek Elementary presented its most elaborate Chinese New Year Celebration yet.
Principal Deborah Thorvaldson was quick to credit the input of many school families in making the event so spectacular – including preparing thousands of traditional dumplings for the whole school population.
“Since I came to the school four years ago, we’ve celebrated Chinese New Year each year, but this was, by far, the biggest event,” Thorvaldson told the Peace Arch News, following an assembly in which many participated in a variety of performances in a swift-paced show MC’d by students Jordan Routenberg and Angela Li.
In addition to the Grand Dragon Entrance (kindergarten students) and the Lion Dance (Grade 6 students) both accompanied by percussionist from Grade 5 and 6, there were several musical performances of traditional Chinese melodies by senior student soloists. These included cellist Louis Li, Gu Zheng (zither) player Grace Chen, Hulusi flute player Colin Chen and violinist Kimberly Kim.
Among guest performers, Chinese opera singer Hui Ma sang a stirring “Anthem of the Yangtze River” and Jessica Wang performed a complex changing-masks dance traditional to the Sichuan Opera.
Students from several grades performed a lively red lantern dance symbolizing joy and vitality, while additional spectacle was added by a fashion show of historic Tang Dynasty styles, modelled by Grade 7 students and parents.