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2023 Chinese New Year Festival- Immerse in Suzhou Culture

January 8 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join China Institute in celebration of the 2023 Chinese New Year with an authentic experience of local Chinese culture! Our fiesta will feature various cultural performances brought to us from the beautiful city of Suzhou, by renowned artists and performers!

This year, the party will open with our most popular, the crowd-favorite lion dance, followed by New Year-themed workshops and activities tailored for all age groups. Guest artists who have traveled from Suzhou also bring us an in-person backstage experience of the internationally-renowned local Kun Opera (昆曲), as well as exquisite Suzhou-style embroidery (苏绣), and Pingtan (评弹), the very form of ballad singing in Suzhou with Chinese instruments, all recognized as intangible cultural heritage in China and by UNESCO.

Let’s kick off the Year of the Rabbit with this very special celebration at China Institute!

All visitors must bring a photo ID when entering the building and present proof of COVID vaccination. Masks are highly recommended when on site at China Institute.

Register Here
Ticket purchase includes admission to Chinese New Year’s Special: Kun Opera Comes to Life in New York City.


1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Lion Dance and Welcome Performance

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Breakout Activities
Storytelling Workshop (60 min)
Dumpling Making Workshop (60 min)
Pingtan Workshop (30 min)
Embroidery (30 min)

A Special Workshop and Performance
Chinese New Year’s Special: Kun Opera Comes to Life in New York City

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
A close-up look of Kun Opera makeup and costume

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Kun Opera performance and dialogue with the star performers

Artists Bio

Chen, Feng (陈烽) is a Pingtan performer in the Suzhou Pingtan Performance Troupe and the inheritor of the Xu-style. Chen learned from famous Tanci performers Mr. Wang Jianzhong and Mr. Wu Dijun. He performed the long Tanci “San Xiao” and “Empress Wu Zetian”. Chen received many rewards including Outstanding Young Talent of Zijin Cultural Talent Training Project, Excellent Performer of Jiangsu Culture and Arts Award, and New Talent Award of Jiangsu Folk Art Luhua Award.
Feng, Zeyu (冯泽钰) will lead the Chinese culinary activity – Dumpling/Wonton making. As a talented language teacher, Ms. Feng inherited her passion in cooking growing up in China and is excited to teach her innovative recipes of homemade foods. Joining in China Institute as a full-time staff in 2020 with advanced degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hong Kong Baptist University, Ms. Feng will bring her multi-cultural perspectives into this boot camp cooking section that combines cooking, language, and culture learning.
Huang, Pauline (黃瑞伶) is a children’s book author, Chinese language and music educator, songwriter, and mother of two! She is the author of “The Mystery Race – A New Story About the Chinese Zodiac Animals“. She has a passion for writing stories and songs to educate and influence young minds to inspire pride in their own culture and curiosity about other cultures. In 2010 and 2012, she co-authored a Chinese songbook series, ‘Rhythms and Tones’ with Robin Harvey.
Shen, Fengying (沈丰英) is a top-notch Kun Opera performer specializing in “elegant young lady” roles. With an MAF of Shanghai Theatrical Institute, Shen studied under such famed performing artists as Zhang Jiqing, Hua Wenyi, Zhang Jingxian and Hu Jinfang, and has gone on to receive one of China’s highest artistic awards: the 23rd Plum Flower Award for the performing Arts, as well as recognition as one of the “ten most impressive people in the city of Suzhou” in 2007. Shen was invited to perform Kun Opera on the occasion of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s state visit to Japan, and has also appeared in France as the only female Kun Opera artist at the UNESCO Festival of Human Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage. She performed wandering in the garden for President Hu Jintao and other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau in New Year’s party of 2008 National Committee of CPPCC.
Shen’s best-known works include “The Peony Pavilion” (Youth Version 2004), “The Story of the West Chamber”, “The Palace of Eternal Life”, and new version of “The Jade Hairpin”.
Shen, Guofang (沈国芳) is an outstanding young Kun Opera artist performing the vivacious young girl or servant girl roles. Her performance of young maiden roles such as Spring Fragrance (春香) in “The Peony Pavilion” and Yunxiang in “The Story of the Hairpin and the Bracelet” is recognized for their sweetness, natural and refreshing charm. With an MAF from Nanjing University, Shen has studied under such famed performing artists as Zhao Guozhen, Chen Pei, Wang Fang, Zhang Jiqing and Zhang Jingxian. She has received award at China’s 2007 Kun Opera Exhibition Performances, and in 2008, New Star Award of stage arts in Suzhou. She performed wandering in the garden for President Hu Jintao and other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau in New Year’s party of 2008 National Committee of CPPCC.
Xie, Ying (谢英) is a Pingtan performer in the Suzhou Pingtan Performance Troupe and inheritor of the Xu-style. Xie learned from the famous Tanci performer Mrs. Wang Ying. She performed long Tanci “San Xiao” and “Empress Wu Zetian.” Xie received New Talent Award of Jiangsu Culture and Arts Award and Jiangsu Folk Art Luhua Award, and New Star Award of the Guangyu Star Pingtan Performance Competition.
Yao, Huifen (姚惠芬) is the master of Suzhou embroidery. She is the inheritor of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage, Master of Chinese Arts and Crafts, National Senior Arts and Crafts Artist, and the fourth generation heir of “the Magic Needle” Shen Shou in China (“针神”沈寿). Born and raised in a family known for its embroidery, Yao has dedicated herself to the craft for over 40 years. She received numerous awards and honors for her work including Chinese Artful Woman, CCTV Most Brilliant Female, Expert of Jiangsu Province with Prominent Contribution, and Outstanding Craft Artist of Jiangsu. In the past decade, she has been focusing on random stitch embroidery and innovative ways to embroider traditional Chinese ink wash paintings. Yao developed her unique “Jian Zhen” style, which combines Chinese embroidery with western sketch art by using less stiches to present a richer artistic quality. Her work has been collected by the British Museum, the White Rabbit Gallery in Australia, China Silk Museum, Suzhou Museum and famous individuals including architect Ieoh Ming Pei, former US president George. W. Bush, and former Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova.

苏州市文化广电和旅游局 Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism
苏州文化投资发展集团 Suzhou Culture Investment Development Group
苏州文化艺术中心 Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre
江苏省苏州昆剧院 Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater, Jiangsu Province
苏州市评弹团 Suzhou Pingtan Troupe

This program is made possible through the generous support of Chinese International Education Foundation, as well as other public and private donors of China Institute.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


January 8
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


China Institute
40 Rector Street, 2 Floor
New York, NY 10006 United States
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