Building Relations and Scaling Walls

The BYU Spectacular in China has had a wonderful week of performances and outreaches! On Monday, the BYU International Folk Dance Ensemble visited Minzu University of China, which had a group visit BYU on a cultural exchange in 2017, when they performed at International Folk Dance Ensemble’s Christmas Around the World. While at Minzu, the BYU group both taught dances and then learned Chinese dances and music from students and instructors at the university.

Meanwhile, other groups arrived and toured the Mausoleum of Chairman Mao, the National Center for the Performing Arts, Tiananmen Square, and the National Museum of China. The BYU Chamber Orchestra rehearsed for their separate performance at the China Central Conservatory of Music.

The BYU Spectacular cast visits the Great Wall of China.

On Tuesday, the groups visited the famous Ming Tombs and the Silk Market. Later that evening, the Chamber Orchestra held their stand-alone performance at China’s Central Conservatory of Music.

On Wednesday, the popular China Central Television (CCTV) show Culture Express interviewed Janielle Christensen and Randy Boothe about the BYU Spectacular show and the relationship between BYU and China. The entire tour group visited the Great Wall of China, ascending a portion of the 13,170-mile-long wall. In the afternoon, the group visited the Forbidden City. On Thursday, the cast and crew split up to tour either the Temple of Heaven or the Pearl Market.

Grant Taylor, a member of BYU Dunk Team, performs at the show in Beijing.

The BYU cast performed both Friday and Saturday evenings at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Beijing. Audiences totaled more than 1,300 people each night as part of the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival. Prior to the Friday performance, a VIP reception was held, with attendance from long-time university friends and high-level government leaders. Additionally, China Global Television Network interviewed selected cast members before the show.

Each show was recorded by CCTV and BYUtv for future broadcasts. Showcasing high energy and talent, the performances were very popular with the people of Beijing. The final number, “Mo Li Hua,” a traditional Chinese folk song, was especially well received.

BYU Folk Dancer Laura Garff poses for a picture with an audience member after the show in Beijing.

Sunday was a time of rest and relaxation as the group prepared for Xi’an, the second city in their tour.

BYU Folk Dancer Brandon Carter dances in a native Chinese costume with new Minzu University friends.

Members of the BYU Chamber Orchestra pose with conductors and composers at the concert with the Central Conservatory of Music.