Tag Archives: Chinese music

Chinese arts and culture

Patricia Saewert work on exhibit at SCC

While searching through photos of my kiddos the other day, I found some old photos of a trip to China — taken as part of a “fam” (familiarization) tour during my days working in university affairs. People exploring blocks of bird markets. Men playing Mahjong in the streets. Tourists strolling along the Great Wall.

It reminded me that Scottsdale Community College is exhibiting “experimental Chinese painting” in their art building through Sat, Nov. 3. The exhibit — and reception Sat, Oct 8 (4pm-6pm) — is free and open to the public.

Rosemary Ramos White work on exhibit at SCC

The works, which portray a variey of subjects, were created by SCC artists during an Experimental Chinese Painting class first offered in the spring of 2011. It’ll be offered every two years by art professor Robert You, who trained in Beijing.

These paintings integrate Eastern and Western styles — and feature  representational and non-representational imagery.  They were executed with Chinese brushes and fine Chinese black and colored inks on shuen paper. Each painting has a unique “chop.” which is the artists signature.

Joy Smith work on exhibit at SCC

Custom-created chops, which look like rubber stamps on large blocks of wood, are popular with tourists who visit big cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Sadly, mine is likely lost to the ages unless someone from the A & E television network disovers it during an episode of “Storage Wars.”

You can enjoy a taste of Chinese culture at the COFCO Chinese Cultural Center near Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix — home to the Super L Ranch Market, which is a great place to introduce children to life beyond burgers and fries.

The Chinese Cultural Center’s gardens, designed by Madame Ye, feature replicas of landmarks from five ancient Chinese cities and adhere to Feng Shui and Ying Yang principals. Keep an eye on the center’s calendar for festivals and special events featuring Chinese culture and traditions.

Christine Dennis work on exhibit at SCC

The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China perform Wed, Oct 5 (7:30pm) at the Mesa Arts Center. The Beijing group of 35 sets martial arts, acrobatics and illusion to traditional Chinese music.

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix presents a “Museum Encounter” with three instrumentalists and two vocalists from Phoenix sister city Chengdu, China. The Sat, Oct 15 (11am) “Chengdu Performing Arts Showcase” is free with museum admission. They’ve also got an impressive collection of instruments from various regions of China.

I’ve got an impressive assortment of souvenirs. One day I hope to actually find and enjoy them.

— Lynn

Note: Learn more about Scottsdale Community College at www.scottsdalecc.edu, COFCO Chinese Cultural Center at www.phxchinatown.com, Mesa Arts Center at www.mesaartscenter.com and the Musical Instrument Museum at www.themim.org.

Coming up: Music and dance of India


A yen for multicultural art?

We enjoyed a lovely dinner last night with our children and James’ parents, who share our penchant for Italian fare despite extensive world travels.

My only experience with Japanese food was during graduate school, when I had a roomate who often shared family recipes featuring Japanese flair.

It’s unlikely I’ll ever be able to duplicate them — but I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to explore the culture of Japan and other countries.

Head to the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa today for a free Japanese-style celebration of Grandparents Day

So I’m excited about today’s (Sept. 5) noon to 5 p.m. “Passport to Japan: Grandparents Day” event at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa.

Admission to museum exhibits, including “Jump to Japan,” is free today (Sept 5) — and museum visitors can explore a wealth of Japanese art and culture. Think kimonos and origami. Swordsmanship and cuisine. Calligraphy and storytelling.

Here’s a look ahead to other multicultural events and experiences coming to the Valley and other parts of Arizona…


Calo Flamenco CUADRO at Chandler Center for the Performing Arts. Sept 19 (3pm; free). Features music and dance following traditional themes and elements of this folk art form. www.caloflamenco.com.

Calo Flamenco performs Sept 19 at Chandler Center for the Arts

The Power of You at ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale. Oct 2 (5-9pm; free). Features a thematic dance performance in the Indian classical style of Bharata Natyam by Stage Sanchar (presented by Arizona South Asians for Safe Families). www.asukerr.com.

Japanese Folk Dance at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. Nov 15 (1pm; free with admission). Features Japanese music and folk dance. www.japanesefriendshipgarden.org.


Celtic Harvest Festival at Tequa Plaza in Oak Creek (near Sedona). Sept 24 & 25 (hours; ticket prices vary). Features art workshops and demonstrations, music and dancing, children’s activities, and vendors selling items from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. www.celticharvestfestival.com.

Celebraciones de la Gente at the Museum of Northern Arizona. Oct 24 & 25 (9am-5pm; free with museum admission of $4 to $7). Features opportunity to learn about the traditions and culture of people from Mexico and Latin America. www.musnaz.org.

The Arizona Irish Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. Oct 31 (10am-8pm; free). Features Celtic music and dance, along with kids’ activities. www.festival.azirish.org.


Jump to Japan: Discovering Culture Through Popular Art at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa. Through Oct 10 (times vary; $6.50/ages 1 & up). Features both traditional art forms and pop icons in a fun and educational exhibit. www.arizonamuseumforyouth.com.

Community Second Sunday at the Heard Museum (Phoenix and Scottsdale). Sept 12 (11am-5pm; free for Arizona residents). Features free admission to all exhibits at both Heard Museum locations (presented by Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa). www.heard.org.


Spirit of Nature at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Sept 25 (7pm; $25-$30). Features acclaimed Chinese flutist Chen Tao and ‘mistress of the pipa’ Gao Hong. www.themim.org.

Gao Hong (above) performs with Chen Tao Sept 25 at the Musical Instrument Museum

A Mexican Celebration at the University of Arizona Music Building (Chowder Hall) in Tucson. Sept 25 (7:30pm; $9/general admission). www.cfa.arizona.edu/music.

Pops Adventures Around the World at Phoenix Symphony Hall. Oct 1-3 (times vary; $18-$83). Features Phoenix Symphony conducted by Jack Everly performing music from Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy. www.phoenixsymphony.org.

Doc Severinsen & El Ritmo de la Vida at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Oct 14 (7:30pm; $49-$59). Features trio performing Latino music, along with the blues, played in a European style. www.sccarts.org.


Multilingual Reading at the University of Arizona Poetry Center in Tucson. Sept 10 (8pm; free). Poets Sherwin Bitsui, Alberto Rios, Natalia Toldeo and Ofelia Zepeda read from their work. Features a chainlink of translations in Zapotec, Spanish, Tohono O’odham and Navajo. www.poetrycenter.arizona.edu.

Visual Arts

Kimono Evolution: The Japanese Character of Silk at the Phoenix Art Museum. Sept 8 (12:30pm; free with admission). Features rare opportunity to view exquisite objects from a private collection not previously displayed publicly (presented by members of the Japanese Culture Club of Arizona). www.phxart.org.

La Phoeniquera art exhibit at the Arizona Latino Arts & Culture Center in Phoenix. Through Oct 29. Features an examination of urban Phoenix by Latino artists who are experiencing the cultural changes firsthand. www.alacaz.org.

I’m always looking — so please share what you’ve found on the multicultural front in Arizona arts and culture in the comment section below.

— Lynn

Note: Many of the venues/organizations noted above offer additional multicultural fare, so please visit their websites to learn more.

Coming up: Trumpet tales, Art & animals, Poetry perspectives, Making magic in Tucson


Sleuthing for weekend adventures

I kicked off my weekend a bit early with last night’s performance of Susan Zeder’s The Death and Life of Sherlock Holmes” at the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse on ASU’s Tempe campus.

I was eager to see the work of Valley musician and designer Todd Hulet, who teaches Lizabeth’s production studies class at Arizona School for the Arts–especially given his experience in everything from “traditional opera and contemporary musicals to experimental theatre and grand straight plays.” Hulet’s scenic design didn’t disappoint.

Hulet managed to make a single set look like several different backdrops–with different shapes, colors and patterns coming to the fore as the show’s lighting shifted thanks to exceptional lighting design by Chris Peterson. I enjoyed Peterson’s lighting more than any I’ve seen since Arizona Theatre Company’s “The Glass Menagerie.”

The show has a charm best appreciated by those who know at least a little something about Sherlock Holmes and his creator. Its strongest appeal may be to writers and those who love them. The work is every bit as much about author Arthur Conan Doyle’s relationship with Holmes as Holmes’ own sleuthing strategies or the ordinary-by-comparison folks who populate his world.

I’ll be seeing four other shows this weekend—featuring saguaros and satire, teaching in the trenches, an oversized optimist and a coddled child. Had I mastered the pesky time/space continuum, I’d also attend some of the following arts-related events your family might enjoy…


Dancing with the Docs features Valley physicians paired with professional dancers competing for audience votes ala “Dancing with the Stars.” Sat, May 1, 6pm at Chandler Center for the Arts. $45-$85 (benefits Chandler Regional Medical Center).

Levanto features Calo Flamenco music and dance performance with Chris Burton Jacome. Sun, May 2, 3pm at Chandler Center for the Arts. $25 (includes signed CD).


A Taste of Greece features Greek music, dancers and more. Fri, April 30 and Sat, May 1, 11am-11pm (plus Sun, May 2, 11am-7pm) at Tempe Beach Park. $2 (ages 12 & under free).

El Dia de los Ninos features hands-on activities, live entertainment and more. Fri, April 30, 9am-1pm at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. Free.


Los Texmaniacs features a blend of Texas rock, conjunto and well-cured blues from 2010 Grammy winners with a “unique Tex Mex groove.” Sun, May 2, 2:30pm at the MIM Music Theater in Phoenix. $32-$36.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park features live music in an outdoor setting perfect for family picnics. Sun, May 2, 7:30-9pm in Scottsdale. Free (Train/carousel rides $1-$2/each).

Melody of China features a synergy between ancient traditions and American youth culture from San Francisco’s premier Chinese music ensemble. Fri, April 30, 7:30pm at the MIM Music Theater in Phoenix. $25-$30.

Phoenix Boys Choir features Academy-Award nominated songs during their “Hooray for Hollywood” spring concert. Fri, Apr 30, 7:30pm at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. $20-$25 (less for seniors/12 & under).

For other family-friendly activities, including several arts events at the Arizona Museum for Youth and the Special Olympics Summer Games, visit the Raising Arizona Kids magazine daily calendar online.

Have a great time sleuthing with your family for arts and adventures this weekend!


Note: The shows I’ll be reviewing next include Arizona Theatre Company’s “Second City Does Arizona, or Close, But No Saguaro” and  Actors Theatre’s “No Child” at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, as well as Childsplay’s “Big Friendly Giant” at Tempe Center for the Arts and Arizona Jewish Theatre Company’s “The Secret Garden” at Phoenix College. Stay tuned!

Coming up: A review of the movie “Oceans” from Disneynature, My 200th “Stage Mom” post—featuring more reflections on the beauty of blogging and how I decide what’s worthy of a bit of banter, A night of Shakespeare with Richard III and some of my favorite theater students