Spring Festival Gala starts the Year of the Rabbit off strong

Mimosa+Dance+Crew+performs+at+the+Spring+Festival+Gala+on+Saturday.

Candice Zhou

Mimosa Dance Crew performs at the Spring Festival Gala on Saturday.

By Koumae Adams, Staff Writer

In the grand Foellinger Auditorium, attendees of the Spring Festival Gala energetically cheered and laughed as live entertainment unfolded in front of them under the vibrantly colored lights and projections.

Presented by the Chinese Student and Scholars Association at the University of Illinois, the event was held on Saturday from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The Spring Festival, also called Chinese New Year, is the celebration of the arrival of the spring season and the start of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. The holiday is of great importance in Chinese culture. This year is the Year of the Rabbit, the fourth animal out of 12 in the Chinese zodiac.

With a number of performances, the event offered much entertainment for the audience. The event held a variety of dance performances to C-pop and K-pop songs, as well as some traditional Chinese tunes. 

Some performances combined martial arts and traditional singing, which was a big hit with the audience. A rap performance with the screening of the rapper’s original music video brought on much cheering.

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Multiple vocal performances with choreographies were performed to a variety of Chinese and English songs. Live comedy skits with unique plot lines that were mixed with themes of love, Chinese tradition and campus culture earned many laughs and giggles.

An orchestra performance of Disney tunes calmed the audiences as a scene from Lion King was projected onto the stage. A film planned by the members of the CSSA was played on the screen, capturing the audience’s attention.  

During the final vocal performance, the audience got up from their seats and crowded around the stage with their hands raised. 

Claudia Liu, freshman in LAS, said they felt nostalgic attending the event.

“It was great and had a wonderful Chinese New Year vibe, which really made me feel at home even if I’m so far away from it,” Liu said. 

Kelly Cheung, freshman in FAA, said that one performance was particularly good. 

“The highlight of the event was the voice over performances, because not only was it interesting and the most put together, it was also fun to hear the variation in dialects of other regions,” Cheung said. 

Liu also said the dubbing performance was the highlight of the event. 

“I really loved the Spongebob Squarepants dubbing show,” Liu said. 

Liu also said they enjoyed the variety of dialects used throughout the performances.

“Actors used several Chinese dialects, which was really fun,” Liu said. 

Despite this, Cheung said that the event went on for longer than it needed to. 

“I felt that even though it was fun to get together to celebrate the new year, it was unnecessarily long, especially since the majority of the performances weren’t related to the Chinese New Year or even Chinese culture in general,” Cheung said. 

Still, the event brought many people together to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit. 

“I’m really happy that I can hang out with my friends thanks to this event,” Liu said. 

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