Cultural Immersion Programme To Beijing, China
This year, Dunman High School’s Chinese Society (JH) and Dance Society (SH) collaborated with the Beijing Dance Academy (北京舞蹈学院）and Beijing Hai Yun Arts School (海韵艺术学校）on a Dance Immersion Trip. A selected group of 23 Year 1–5 students led by Ms Chew Ji Rong and Ms Lee Li Juan participated in this inaugural programme from 29 May to 4 June 2012. The 7 days 6 nights immersion trip was planned with the following objectives
- To provide students opportunities to understand the historical and cultural traditions in dance.
- To provide students opportunities to learn various folk dance techniques from the top dance academy in China.
- To allow our students to learn about the culture of various Chinese ethnic groups in an authentic environment.
When we arrived at Beijing Dance Academy, the Artistic Director of the school was very welcoming and took us around personally. We were introduced to the historical and cultural traditions in dance. Thereafter, our students witnessed the rigourous training for the full-time dance students and were exposed to various genres of dance like the Chinese Classical Dance, Chinese Folk Dance, and Ballet. Our students were intrigued by how these dancers were able to tell stories by using different facial expressions.
The students had the privilege of learning a traditional Yangge dance chereography taught by a professional dance teacher who graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy. During the lesson, she offered professional guidance to enhance our students’ stage performance skills and techniques. It was evident that our students benefited from her guidance as they mastered the emotion and expression within the set chereography.
We were also warmly received by Hai Yun’s Arts School. Hai Yun’s students treated us to the display of their stunning dance techniques. Furthermore, our students had the honor of being coached by the principal himself. He taught our students a Mongolian ethnic dance that was dynamic and breathtaking.
Our students were invited to perform at Yu Quan Primary School on June 1; 2012 which was the children’s day in China. The wide range of activities and performances organized by Yu Quan Primary School brought joy to their pupils as well as ours.
All in all, this unique experience has definitely heightened the students’ appreciation for the art of dance and nurtured their positive attitudes towards dancing.
The stay in Beijing also allowed them the opportunity to appreciate the rich culture and history of China. Our students conquered the flights of the Great Wall of China. There is a Chinese saying ‘不到长城非好汉’ – One who fails to reach the Great Wall is not a true hero. So here we are, presenting to you all our heroines from Dunman High School Chinese Society (JH) and Dance Society (SH)!
“This Cultural immersion trip to Beijing was really an eye opening experience as we managed to get first hand exposure to how dance was taught in BeiJing dance academy and Haiyun Arts School, the top dance schools in China. I felt that this was a worthwhile trip to China as we also had a chance to learn different types of folk dances from teachers of the schools mentioned. Many of us who went felt that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Our trip of 7 days was a fruitful one, as apart from having dance lessons, we were also able to sightsee at popular tourist attractions like the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, as well as have a go at bargaining (on top of shopping) at Xiu Shui Street and also try the famous Beijing Roasted duck. As China is a country with many cultures, traditions and heritages, we were able to come home with many learning points about China, its society and culture. At the same time, many memories were made in China with my dance mates and for that I would like to sincerely thank the teachers and the school for making this trip possible. “
12Y4D Sheryl Han