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Drumming in the Chinese New Year

Drumming in the Chinese New Year

Albert Park will reverberate with the beat of one of China's most ancient folk arts at the Asia 2000 Lantern Festival to be held in February.

Festival-goers will have a unique opportunity to see the vibrant and energetic Waist Drum Dance, performed by a team of traditional drummers from Ansai County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. This dance is only found in this part of China, and this is the first time it has been performed in New Zealand.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring this extremely impressive spectacle to the Lantern Festival," said Jennifer King, Asia 2000's cultural programme manager. "The Ansai Waist Drum Dance involves vigorous dancing and leaping accompanied by frenetic drumming. Ansai County is renowned throughout China for its drummers."

The drum dance is a traditional lunar New Year and Lantern Festival activity in Shaanxi province. This type of folk performance is believed to have originated around 2000 years ago and was once a religious activity to greet gods and dispel evil. In the past, Shaanxi villagers used the drum dance to pray for favourable weather, a successful harvest and a happy life.

The Lantern Festival, which marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, will be held in Auckland's Albert Park from 5pm to 10.30pm on 6 - 8 February 2004.

The Lantern Festival is organised by Asia 2000 in partnership with Auckland City. HSBC is the Festival's principal sponsor, supported by First City Developments, AIA, Telecom and Cathay Pacific. Other supporters include Lee Kum Kee, Sky City Auckland, MORE FM Auckland, IndoFood, Cosco, Triangle Television and IWP Video Production.

Check out Lantern Festival information on or .

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