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Entertainers educate students on eastern art and culture

Adair County Middle School Students see "Amazing China" show, presented by Confucius Institute at WKU in conjunction with NY Chinese Traditional Art Center
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By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools

Adair County Middle School students were treated to a traditional Chinese performance and magic show Tuesday morning in the school's gymnasium. The show, dubbed "Amazing China," featured world-renowned Chinese performers and was presented by the Confucius Institute at Western Kentucky University in conjunction with the New York Chinese Traditional Art Center.

"This is a great opportunity for our students to be exposed to other cultures and their art," ACMS Principal Alma Rich says. "Nothing you can find online can equal what you get out of a live performance. It's definitely not something you would typically see around here."

The four entertainers--Zhao Naiyi, Li Ying, Tang Yuzhi, and Ren Yingxin--each exhibited different aspects of traditional Chinese performance, including changing faces, linked rings, sword dancing, and martial arts. The group delighted the students with sleight-of-hand tricks and dancing based on Chinese opera.

"They really seemed to enjoy it," Rich says of her school's students. "To see the looks on their faces--they were amazed. One of the things we try to do is make students aware of the different cultures they'll come in contact with when they leave here, whether in college or in their careers, and I think today helped with that."

The Confucius Institute is a China-based educational organization with affiliations around the globe. Its aim is to promote Chinese language and culture in other countries, and it provides--through a partnership with WKU--Adair County's two Chinese language teachers. The institute waived its typical fee for "Amazing China" because of Adair County's support of the program.

Rich says the performance will benefit students both outside and inside the classroom. "The cultural aspect, they'll have that background knowledge forever," Rich says. "It will also benefit them in their literature class because they'll have that point of reference when they encounter Chinese culture in some of the books they'll read. It was all-around just a really great experience for the students."

This story was posted on 2016-09-13 15:20:31
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Li Ying performs sleight of hand trick for ACMS students

2016-09-13 - ACMS, 322 Gen. John Adair Drive, Columbia, KY - Photo by Wes Feese, Media Relations, Adair County School District.
Li Ying, one of China's most famous magicians, performs a sleight-of-hand trick using small candles Tuesday morning, September 13, 2016, at Adair County Middle School.

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Zhao Naiyi entertains at Adair County Middle School

2016-09-13 - ACMS, 322 Gen. John Adair Drive, Columbia, KY - Photo by Wes Feese, Media Relations, Adair County School District.
Zhao Naiyi entertains ACMS students Tuesday morning with his "Changing Faces" routine. - Wes Feese

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