Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance launches at Goldsmiths

An interesting project to build a cultural bridge between the UK and China has started in South East London. This June Goldsmiths University launched the Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance with inspirational speeches from Chinese and UK officials and beautiful performances from these two corners of the world.

Working in partnership with the Beijing Dance Academy, studies at the Confucius Institute for Dance and Performance at Goldsmiths will include Mandarin, Chinese performance arts and dance, Chinese culture and Kung fu and Tai chi.

Speaking at the launch event, Baroness Morris Yardley said, “This project will allow students to discover a culture they might not even have thought of getting to know. At Goldsmith we want to offer excellence and access building new relationships between nations, cultures and people.”

There are over 300 Confucius Institutes in 105 countries. Their aim is to promote Chinese language and culture, and support Chinese teaching and cultural exchanges. Each institute determines its own specialist program of activity.

China’s Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, added, “This is the first Confusions Institute focused on art and performance. Learning Mandarin is an essential part of learning Chinese culture. Goldsmith has produced great artists and I hope this wonderful adventure will bring new stories of friendship between China and the UK.”

Just before the performances Madame Xu Lin, Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), closed the speeches reflecting, “This partnership is a fertile ground for new styles in dance and performing arts can emerge. They will not necessarily be Western or Eastern; they will be a combination of the two.”

Students from Goldsmith and from China carried out a series of contemporary and classic dances. There was Chinese poetry written and recited by an English student from Goldsmith, and even an opera singer from the university sang in Mandarin.

The Institute lessons will start in the new term.

First published in Dance Today and NUJ Lewisham