STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Uygur song and dance wows Chicago

CNC report from Chicago
Added On May 18, 2013

The melodies and rhythms of Western China come alive when Tarim, Uygur Song and Dance Ensemble performs at Chicago Cultural Center Tuesday evening.

A 19-member ensemble of musicians and dancers from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China has brought to the United States the ancient songs of the Silk Road, the melodies of the Uygurs, the Kazaks, the Kirkiz and the rhythms of the Hui, the Uzbek and Tatars.

Through the performance, the audience could travel with the musicians and dancers to the spice markets, deserts, and vineyards of western China, a land of vast contrast, scale and rich history.

The ensemble conquered the nearly one thousand audience with their wonderful performance.
 
Pam Case travelled from UK to Chicago to visit a friend. She's happy to grab the chance to enjoy the show.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) PAM CASE, Audience member
"I enjoyed it very much. I find the music very lively and some of it is absolutely beautiful. The rhythms are very intricate. And the instruments, there are so many different instruments I have not seen before. So I’m enjoying it very much. And the costumes are very good as well."

Shoshana Falk is interested in different cultures. She's never got a chance to travel to Xinjiang, China but she's happy the performance has brought the culture here in Chicago. 

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SHOSHANA FALK, Audience member
"The instruments are different and very interesting. And the music orchestration is very beautiful. And the dancers are very special. We are so happy that the world comes to us and we see things we've never seen before."

The ensemble not only wishes to preserve the ancient Uygur cultural heritage, but also works to add to it by collecting forgotten melodies and songs, and by creating new work built on the old traditions.

Members of the ensemble have earned more than twenty national and international awards for their skill and beauty.

The performance is made possible due to Arts Midwest World Fest, a program initiative of Arts Midwest, which presents international musical ensembles in intensive week-long residencies in the US's smaller Midwest communities.

Its purpose is to foster an understanding of and appreciation for global uniqueness and differences.

Tarim is an ensemble of musicians and dancers from the Cultural Bureau of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China.

This performance is the ensemble's final leg of their Midwest tour and their first performance in a major Midwest market.