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Adding dragons to the Carnival mix

Chinese performers add new dimension to traditions

Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

Chinese New Year and Maltese carnival celebrations crossed paths in Valletta with guest performers from China showcasing their culture on the streets of the capital.

The Zhejiang Wu Opera Troupe staged a show at Pjazza Teatru Rjal on Tuesday, the first time Chinese artists participated in the carnival celebrations, before an hour-long parade through the streets, with spectacular puppets adding a new twist to the traditional festivities.

The performance was part of the annual Chinese New Year celebrations organised by the China Cultural Centre in Malta, which this year coincides with carnival.

The celebrations continue on Wednesday with a highlight event at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, where the Zhejiang Wu Opera Troupe will present a variety show including festive Dragon Dance, folk instruments, theatrical combat, and Wu opera excerpts.

The show will also feature Chinese performance art treasures including the face-changing conjuring art of Sichuan and Shaanxi shadow puppetry, which was designated by Unesco as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2011.

The performance, which will encourage audience members to roam and mingle in a mix of performance and interaction, begins at 6pm with all entrance ticket proceeds going to the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation.

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