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Saint Paul’s Chinese Dance Theater celebrates the Lunar New Year

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It’s a busy time for one of the oldest Chinese dance theaters in the area, the Chinese-American Association of Minnesota Chinese Dance Theatre.

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — In the Chinese New Year celebrations on Tuesday 2022 is the Year of the Tiger. In general, this will be a year to regain some strength and vitality after a hard working and tiring Ox year. The tiger represents strength and helping others for the greater good.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world, including here in Minnesota. That means it’s a busy time for one of the oldest Chinese dance theaters in the region.

“I’ve been dancing here for about six years now,” said Ariel Kirris, one of the young dancers at the Chinese-American Association of Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater in Saint Paul.

Beatrice Rothweiler is Co-Chair of CAAM Chinese Dance Theatre. The theater is in its 30th year and she said it brings audiences a quality dance experience.

“And also bring them into Chinese culture to really get behind the scenes and really understand the depth and breadth of the culture,” Rothweiler said.

Rothweiler often said there is a story associated with a legend or a character that is key to the value system of Chinese culture. By applying it to movement and music, you have a deeper appreciation.

She said the Chinese dance experience is different from Western dance because it is very deeply rooted in experiences and values.

It’s a culture steeped in dynamic and ever-evolving dance traditions that are dear to Kirri’s mother, Arwin Chan.

“It’s part of my heritage, it’s part of my culture, and I want her to continue exposing that type of culture,” Chan said.

Chan can be on stage with her daughter. She is also a dancer at the theater. She said she loves the movement it offers her, but Chan also knows her years on stage with her daughter are limited.

“Every once in a while we have the same opportunity to be in the same dance and I’m going to be the back dancer and she’s going to be the front dancer and that’s also a proud moment as a mom,” Chan said.

As the curtains open for the Lunar New Year, Kirris has one last message.

“Come and see me dance on stage!” She said.

The CAAM Chinese Dance Theater hosts several community events, including the Timberwolves’ halftime show on Tuesday, a Minnesota Orchestra concert on February 5, a performance at the Mall of America on February 12-13, and an event at the Landmark Center on February 20. February .

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