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A Little Bit of Chinese Art and Culture in The Westerbeck Hall

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Lilith Garcia in Features

The Red Wall Art Troupe from Beijing Xicheng performed at Pasadena City College in the Westerbeck Recital Hall in Pasadena on September 18, 2015. PCC, the City of Pasadena, the China Sub-Commettee and Pasadena Sister Cities Committee brought a taste of traditional Chinese performance arts to the campus.

“We are extremely enlightened to welcome the Red Wall Troupe from Beijing Xicheng, a Chinese sister city of Pasadena. Tonight we welcome you to Pasadena City College,” said PCC Superintendent-President Rajen Vurdien while introducing the performers on Friday Sept. 18.

The Red Wall Art Troupe is a group of Xicheng retirees who love Chinese art and culture. They have been invited for various performances and competitions in the Xicheng district in Beijing. They have also been invited to perform overseas across Europe and Asia and in countries such as Japan and Spain.

“This is a testimony to the on going cultural exchange, cultural tradition, and the value that we place on diversity, not only in the college but in the city,” said Vurdien.

The show was filled with traditional Chinese music, dancing, singing, theater, costumes and makeup. While each performance introduced Chinese culture in different forms, each performance told a story.

One performance centered around a man and woman’s love story. The man is so deeply in love with this woman, as she is with him, but because of their different family backgrounds they cannot be together. They overcame many obstacles and end up getting married.

“It’s like the story of Romeo and Juliet only that at the end it’s a happy ending,” said Huiping Chen.

Although the story is a about a man and woman, the performance was portrayed by two women.

“In the history of China, men did not perform the role of a male character. It has always been a female” said Li Zhang, the woman who played the male role.

Another performance that stood out was a male performer in face masks who dazzled the audience with his speed of changing masks and the trickery to doing it.

While performing, he would dance and come across the stage in fast movements while still being able to see his mask clearly change in an instant. The performer was very interactive with the audience and as he performed he got off the stage and went to President Vurdien and shook his hand while changing masks within seconds.

After, he walked throughout the hall and went up to other members in the audience to do the same. It was a performance that kept the audience mesmerized.

With all the performances by Red Wall Art Troupe bringing diversity to Pasadena City College, the Global Club at PCC took part in this event as well. Gladys Lo, a student at PCC and member of the Global Club, explained what the Global Club was about.

“We try to bring different cultures from different countries, not only from China but from any country,” said Lo.