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Chinese Spring Festival galas enliven Canadian cities
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"When magic comes from so far away, it is bound to be extra special," said Jeffrey De Fourestier, master of ceremonies at the inaugural Spring Festival Gala Sunday night at the National Arts Center in Ottawa.

He was referring to star magician Ms. Yang Lulu, who made no less than 15 umbrellas appear seemingly from thin air. Ms. Yang and her 19 fellow performers from the China Broadcasting Performing Arts Troupe, presented a typical Chinese show before an audience of over 2,000, which proved a musical and visual triumph.

The first half of the gala saw a wide variety of folk arts of China's minority groups. "Mermaids of Hainan Island" expresses people's happiness in celebrating the coming of the new year in China's southern end and the Snow Lotus Trio sang two Tibetan songs.

"Spring Excursion" was a romping reenactment of Mongolian dance. The hammer dulcimer solo: "Festive Heavenly Mountain," performed by soloist Zhang Gaoxiang, depicts the magnificent scenery in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China.

The hula hoops acrobatic show by Jin Linlin, who had 150 hula hoops spinning at the same time on her slim body, became the talk of the intermission.

"I was absolutely amazed by the hula hoops," said Diane Deans, an Ottawa city councillor." I also really enjoyed the first two performances "First Train to the Dong Village," and "Kangding Love Song."

To make the show even more spectacular, 60 members of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra performed Chinese music for the first time since its establishment in 1966. Under the musical direction of David Currie and in collaboration with China's "Master of String" Ms. Jiang Kemei, the orchestra mesmerized the audience with "Farewell, My Concubine" and Jinghu Concerto: Deep Night.
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