Thursday, January 16, 2020

More on the Chinese New Year Gala at North Allegheny Senior High School, January 18.

The Almanac talks with Susan Chang, president of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology – Pittsburgh Chapter, which is helping to organize a Chinese New Year Gala at North Allegheny Senior High School on January 18.
The groups’ annual Spring Festival features some high-profile visitors from China along with Pittsburgh-area performers.

“We are drawing more and more people to the event,” Chang said, noting that about 1,000 people attended last year at North Allegheny’s Marshall Middle School.

Part of her organization’s goal is promoting cultural diversity, and those who attend this year’s festival will have the opportunity to see some of China’s art forms that date back centuries.

An example is Bian Lian, in which performers wear vividly colored masks that they can change almost instantaneously – audience members may consider it magically – with the swipe of a fan, movement of the head or wave of the hand. Xue Li will demonstrate at the Spring Festival, and she is especially noteworthy:

“Normally, this was done by male actors, and she was the first female face-changer in China.”

Also traveling from Chang’s native country to perform are Chagmin Xie, an award-winning Sichuan opera dancer; Xiaoling Tonk, the latest in a family line of Peking opera masters; and Ling Yang, a Kun opera artist.
Tickets are available online. North Allegheny Senior High School is located at 10375 Perry Hwy. in Wexford (map).