The emcee speaking in Chinese, the co-emcee translating in broken English to engage the Ugandan crowd, all seemed funny and the dancing of ballet in martial arts style looked like a movie but it was in reality.
That all happened last Saturday at the National Theatre auditorium when Tianjin Arts Troupe of Tian Jin Huo Yuan Jia Martial Arts School from China performed for different invited guests. The two-day cultural event was aimed at strengthening the friendship of the two nations.
The evening started off with speeches from His Excellence Zhao Yali, the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda and Maria Mutagamba the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, who both acknowledged the use of arts as a stress reliever and a society benefit that keeps people active.
The entertainment started off with aerobatics with a mixture of dancing, display of Chinese shadow boxing, ballet, juggling on the unicycle, showcasing all sorts of traditional dance moves that included Tai-chi, Kung Fu, among others.
The fascinating performance was by two men who had silver fake swords fighting each other and pretending to have sustained injuries as one fighter emerged winner before somersaulting off the stage, leaving guests in wild cheers.
When the lead singers of the troupe came on stage, the guests couldn’t hesitate to offer them loud applause as the strumming of the guitar ushered the Chinese vocalists and singers with their flutes, violins and drums.
The three singers, including Zhai Minglei, Lyu Lilong and Zhao Jingran, had good vocals as they offered their Chinese songs in an energetic and classical way as other group members filled the auditorium with sounds from various instruments.
The rest of the night was spent networking.
Time issue. The 10-minute performance by the Ugandan troupe was not sufficient to show the rich cultural heritage of Uganda