Time to sing the old year out and the new year in.
On the New Year’s Eve
65 students from the School of Music and Dance
Left home for Beijing.
On the stage of CCTV Spring Festival Gala,
With ten wonderful performances,
They sent, to the audience in front of the TV,
The best wishes for a wonderful new year.
01 Fantastic performance
《Drink to the Past》
《Will be Better》
《Youth Hip Hop》
02 The 5th time on the stage of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala
On January 21, the opening performance by SMCZUers kicked off the CCTV Spring Festival Gala of the Year of the Rabbit. Full of youth and vigor, a total of 65 students, including 35 male and 30 female, from the School of Music and Dance made to the stage of the 2023 CCTV Spring Festival Gala, which was the fifth time after 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2022.
Engaged in 10 programs, they won much praise from the director team for their professional competence and brilliant performance. To show the young energetic image of rabbit, the Chinese zodiac sign of the coming year, a lot of bouncing elements had been applied in the performances. Different from the classical and folk dances in the past years, this year’s Gala adopted more elements of hip-hop and pop, which was a challenge for students in professional competence and physical fitness. In order to perform well, they worked so hard in practice.
Li Zeyu, a choreography major with 10 years of street dance experience, led the rehearsal. Since the popular dance style was challenging for students specializing in folk dance, He spent every possible moment optimizing their dance moves to present the best stage effect. The dance program about the Courier boy was the most challenging one. “To ensure zero mistake in rehearsals and good stage performance, every move and facial expression of performers was optimized”, said Suonan Duanzhi, the team instructor of SCMZU.
“Taking the stage on the CCTV Spring Festival Gala is the best New Year’s gift I gave to my family.” Chen Yu, a 16-year-old student from the School of Music and Dance, was the youngest member of the team and made her first appearance at the Spring Festival Gala. On the New Year’s Eve, her parents and grandparents early sat in front of the TV to watch her performance.
03 Perfect performance after hard work
Every participant was strictly selected for the Gala, from height and shape to dance specialties, following the specific requirements of Gala program team. Also a student management team was formed by graduate students to assist in rehearsals.
On November 12, 2022, teachers and students departed from Wuhan Station to Beijing to participate in the rehearsals. After arrival, they self-quarantined according to the epidemic prevention policy, which greatly compressed the rehearsal time. To avoid progress delay, they conducted physical training virtually for good conditions in the later high-intensity and long rehearsals.
Zhu Xingyu, a dance performance major, participated in nine programs, more than everyone in the team. He said, “It is a physical and mental test. Only a highly concentrated mind can help me achieve the high standard and requirements. The most stressful time was in the middle and late period of rehearsals, when all the performances came together, each with its own different rhythm and style. My roommate said he could even hear me counting the rhythm after I fell asleep at night. But every time I thought that my family members, friends and teachers would see me on the screen on New Year’s Eve, I felt that each effort is worthwhile.”
In the rehearsals, they faced the risk of COVID-19 infections. The heads and teachers of SCMZU sent their greetings to students in Beijing by providing them with medicine and comfort. Wang Qinglin, who was infected with the virus in Wuhan, joined the team in Beijing soon after she recovered and distributed her medicine to other students. The teachers also ordered them Pizza and dumplings every few days so that they could keep energetic in the high-intensity rehearsals.
04 Fruitful harvest
When it came to the most profound feeling of participating in the Gala, Jian Rong, a postgraduate student, thought it was growth and gain, “The demands of the Gala performance are comprehensive and stringent, under which we could hone our professional abilities and willpower.” Although it was her third time on the Gala stage, she still couldn’t hide her excitement.
Hua Maocuo, vice president of the School of Music and Dance, said, “Taking stage on the Spring Festival Gala five times was a great harvest for our talent training and adds luster to SCMZU.”
The Gala stage is also a test of SCMZU’s art education and practice, where both students and teachers gained a lot. There were many professional dance troupes in the Spring Festival rehearsals, whose stage experience and excellent performance imparted coping strategies to the students which could not be learned in class. “We are sometimes overwhelmed by the new props on the stage, but the dance troupers could make adjustments immediately and accurately. We’ve learned so much from their stage experience.” said Fu Fangshuai, a student of the school of Music and Dance. “The flexible use of popular elements in the Gala provides a new idea for our curriculum setting.” said Ma Xiucao.
“Participating in the Spring Festival Gala not only exercised students’ ability, but also demonstrated Chinese culture and Chinese spirit. Involving students from a variety of ethnic groups, covering Han, Tibetan, Mongolian, Zhuang, Yao and other ethnic groups, also manifested forging of a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation.” said Xu Baohua, Party Secretary of the School of Music and Dance. “Stage experience in Spring Festival Gala plays a significant role in talent cultivating, specialty and discipline construction, community service and publicity exchange.” said Luo Yihua, Dean of the school.
05 Unforgettable moments
The Spring Festival Gala is a test of mentality. Liu Yang seemed more confident on the stage in her second time appearance. She could understand exactly what the director demanded, and quickly got into the performance. She also learned that there are many uncertainties on the stage, which means that she cannot relax until the last moment.
Xiang Weiying, a dance performance major, benefits greatly from the Gala, where she applied the knowledge gained from books to practice, improving the professional competence dramatically. She shared her feelings, “We are performers instead of students on the stage, so we are supposed to perform professionally.”
Tu Huajing, on the stage of the Gala for the first time, was curious about everything when she entered CCTV’s studio. She was amazed at the perfect stage presentation when she watched the replay, saying “the Gala this year, with high-tech shooting and presenting techniques, will surely provide the audience with an audio and video feast.”
Upon finishing the song “Memorable Tonight”, the Gala came to an end. However, it leaves a lifetime memory for the students, full of joy and pride.