Chicago Cultural Center kicks off Lunar New Year celebration

The Chinese Fine Arts Society showed off Chinese culture to start off the Lunar New Year this Friday.

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The Flying Fairies Dance Troupe performs at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Lunar New Year celebration Friday.

The Flying Fairies Dance Troupe performs at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Lunar New Year celebration Friday.

Ahlaam Delange/Sun-Times

Drums chased away bad energy and dancers gracefully moved across the stage, marking the start of the Chinese New Year at the Chicago Cultural Center Friday.

“We want to bring awareness and appreciation to Chinese culture,” Julie Tiao Ma, president of the Chinese Fine Arts Society, said. “We want to showcase local practitioners of Chinese art and how proud they are to keep their traditions alive in Chicago.”

Julie Tiao Ma, president of the Chinese Fine Arts Society, speaks at the Lunar New Year celebration at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Julie Tiao Ma, president of the Chinese Fine Arts Society, speaks at the Lunar New Year celebration at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Ahlaam Delange/ Sun-Times

Ma’s late mother, Barbara Tiao, founded the CFAS, which partnered with Choose Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which officially starts Saturday.

Some of the standout performances Friday included a number by the Cultural Center Chinese Lion Dancers.

For a preview of their Sunday show at Chicago Symphony Hall, members of Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre treated audiences with somersaults, dragon dancing and folk singing.

Members of the Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre performed a sneak peek of their Sunday show at the Chicago Symphony Hall at the Chinese New Year celebration.

Members of the Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theatre perform at the Chinese New Year celebration at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Ahlaam Delange/Sun-Times

Angela Wan, who is trained in Chinese classical dance, said she feels the responsibility of sharing “the treasure” of the Chinese culture.

“I treasure the opportunity to introduce Chinese classic culture and Chinese classic dance, to the American society,” said Wan, a member of the Hao Dance studio in Buffalo Grove.

Angela Wan, who is trained in classical Chinese dance, performed at the festival.

Angela Wan, who is trained in classical Chinese dance, performed at the festival.

Ahlaam Delange/Sun-Times

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