Gala celebrates young Chinese dreams

Updated: 2014-04-07 11:13

By Eliana Kirshenblat in New York (China Daily USA)

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The New York University Chinese Students and Scholars Association (NYUCSSA) 2014 gala used this year's theme "Sparkling Years" to highlight the unique struggles of Chinese students abroad during the best years of their lives.

This year's gala was held on Sunday at Lincoln Center in honor of their 20th performance since its establishment.

"Most of the production team is very young, I myself am only 21," said Boyang Zhao, the director of this year's gala, through a translator on Saturday before the performance. "None of us are real professional or performance students, aside from a few composers. Everyone else just takes this on for fun. For us, to create a gala at Lincoln Center is a very adventurous challenge."

The gala includes a variety of original performances including choirs, music, skits and dance with an ensemble featuring more than 100 performers from both China and the US. This year's gala has performances from two professional acts - songwriting duo Shui Mu Nian Hua from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan's rock musician Van Yichen Fan.

Zhao said the message he is trying to get across in the show is "what these international students are feeling in their everyday life, the struggle of being away from home, and fitting into this strange environment."

"Chinese students who live in America have a very special identity," Zhao said.

"They're not completely Chinese because they absorb a lot of international elements but they're not going to leave their culture behind. I drew on this concept and put it into the gala. We have a lot of Western meets Eastern collaborations which are very interesting."

The professionals involved - Van Yichen Fan and Shui Mu Nian Hua - were upbeat about being involved in the celebration.

"I'm very honored to be here and to see such a group of passionate students, whether art or performing is your major or whether it is just a hobby," Van Yichen Fan said.

 Gala celebrates young Chinese dreams

Boyang Zhao (left), chief director of Sparkling Years production team, and rock musician Van Yichen Fan with event poster. Eliana Kirshenblat / China Daily

(China Daily USA 04/07/2014 page2)