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Chinese music and dance uplifting, educational

25.001 Introduction to Chinese Music, Song, and Dance, presented by the MIT Republic of China Student Association, Kresge Auditorium, January 25.

A jovial, informal feeling pervaded Kresge on Saturday as the MIT community was treated to an evening of traditional Chinese dance and music. The presentation was educational yet enjoyable, featuring bilingual emcees, beautifully-attired dancers, and talented musicians from the Boston area.

The Chinese Chamber Orchestra, composed of eight traditional instrumentalists, opened the evening with two selections, Joy for atmosphere and Spring on the moonlight river. Joy provided an uplifting beginning by capturing the festivity of a celebration; Spring was a slower, more pensive melody.

Ming Chou's performance of the Long Ribbon Dance introduced the audience to the first of several folk dances characterized by simple, graceful movement. The Fan Dance by Sherri Yu represented a more contemporary dance style sprinkled with the sound of Yu's snapping fan.

The highlight of the show was Linda Tai's superb rendition of three soprano solos: Yang-Tze River, Country Singers, and Skylark. Tsai combined an exquisite voice with a radiant expression that made her performance sparkle among the evening's delights.

Violinist Ming-Chi Tsai fused Western instrumental tone with Chinese melody in his admirable performance of The Dragon Lantern Dance, Pastoral, and Ali-Shan Variations. Tsai's technique was excellent, and his selections represented a fitting mix of frivolity and melancholy.

The orchestra returned for a second round with another pastoral selection, Raising the whip to hasten the horse. The piece came off well in spite of problems with intonation and tempo.

Li-Hung Cheng G finished the program with a stirring guitar ballad, I love my country, about an immigrant from Taiwan living in the United States. Cheng's lyrical voice and skilled musicianship accompanied a story of how a native Chinese becomes accustomed to American culture and yet "still has a Chinese heart."

Earl C. Yen->