WINCHESTER — Following the signing of May 2019 partnership agreement between Shenandoah University and Shenyang Normal University in Shenyang, China, a 10-person delegation from the Chinese university will return to Winchester for a week of cultural engagement with students across campus.

Among the Shenyang Normal delegation are a dean and faculty from the university’s School of Drama and Arts. The faculty specialize in the performance and design of traditional forms of Chinese opera, which incorporate highly stylized movement, dramatic costume design and elaborate makeup art.

During the delegation’s visit, university students and the public will have an opportunity to view these unique design components during a four-day exhibition of costume and makeup art from Traditional Chinese Opera and Peking Opera.

The international touring exhibition will open at the Alson H. Smith, Jr. Library this afternoon for limited hours and will remain open to the public Tuesday through Thursday. Additionally, students from Shenandoah Conservatory will participate in a series of movement and makeup design workshops and collaborate with the delegation to present a culminating cross-cultural lecture and performance at 5 p.m. Thursday in Glaize Studio Theatre. All events are free and open to the public.

This visit is hosted by Shenandoah University in partnership with Shenandoah Conservatory and the Global Initiative Office at the School of Business.

SYNU is a top-tier university in the northeast part of China in the province of Liaoning. It has 18 colleges and more than 20,000 students. The university is known for its programs in business, education, science and paleontology. In 1996, researchers discovered the first feathered dinosaur, later nicknamed dino-bird, near the university.

The School of Drama and Arts at Shenyang Normal University was converted from Liaoning Art School, which was founded in 1959. Incorporated into Shenyang Normal University in 2002, it became a college and professional teaching academy for theater drama, television and art.

Schedule of public events

What: International Touring Exhibition — The Quintessence of Chinese Culture: The Costumes and Makeup Art of Peking Opera

Where: The Alson H. Smith, Jr. Library on the main campus of Shenandoah University

When: Tuesday through Thursday

Peking Opera is an elegant and exquisite art form that profoundly reflects the spirit and aspirations of China. In this international touring exhibition, Shenyang Normal University provides viewers with an inside look at the rich history and tradition of Chinese opera. Images and artifacts of traditional costume pieces and makeup designs from Peking Opera (the country’s most prevalent form of opera) reveal the dramatic beauty and emotion of one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Free and open to the campus and community during regular library hours.

What: Lecture: “Life-giving Spring Breeze and Rain — Entering Chinese Opera”

Where: Glaize Studio Theatre

When: Wednesday, 3 p.m.

Every nation in the world possesses an elegant and exquisite art that can profoundly reflect its spirit and aspiration. For China, this art form is Peking Opera. During this lecture, Professor Wei Zhang (incumbent dean of School of Drama and Arts of Shenyang Normal University and vice-chair of Liaoning Provincial Dramatists Association and Chinese Opera Education Union), explores how Chinese culture can be understood through watching, experiencing and performing Peking Opera.

What: Peking Opera Cultural Lecture and Performance, featuring faculty from Shenyang Normal University China and students from Shenandoah Conservatory

Where: Glaize Studio Theatre

When: Thursday, 5 p.m.

Faculty from the School of Drama at Shenyang Normal University join Shenandoah Conservatory students to present a cross-cultural exploration of the rich history and theatrical design traditions of traditional Chinese opera. The presentation will include a demonstration of the elaborate makeup and dramatic movements that have made this rich art form “the quintessence of Chinese culture.”

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