By COLLETTE CAPRARA FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts invites all to experience a fantastic journey through cultures and captivating illuminated creations during its 2022 Winter Lantern Festival and Lunar New Year celebration, the perfect offering for quiet times. after Hollidays.
Exhibition of winter lanterns
Kennedy Center’s REACH campus provides the perfect venue for the traveling exhibit of 100 fascinating lanterns featuring 10,000 LED lights. The campus features an innovative sloping landscape, a view of the river and the avant-garde architecture of the buildings that emerge from the ground, which are themselves works of art. Throughout the celebration, the facade of a structure will serve as a screen for projected images of iconic scenes and elements from Chinese and Korean cultures.
The “lanterns” in this exhibit are actually colorful, translucent sculptures handcrafted by Chinese artisans and lit from within to celebrate the start of the Year of the Tiger. The whimsical creations are showcased in six enchanting outdoor facilities: the Butterfly Garden, Flaming Lagoon, Coral Reef, Panda Grove, Mushroom Forest and Flower Path.
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“These beautiful works of art take the concept of lanterns to a different level! When families walk through this magical and fantastical kingdom, they will feel uplifted by its cheerfulness and beauty. The moon is out and they can see the sky and the river,” said Alicia Adams, vice president of dance and international programming who organizes the New Year celebration.
Lanterns will be on display each evening from January 27 through February 6, and refreshments will be available from food trucks, with a dining area of tables and heat lamps. Augmented weekend experiences, dubbed REACH Winter Lanterns PLUS, will feature Lunar New Year celebrations in China and Korea, with a range of activities, take-out craft kits and musical performances on stage Kennedy Center Millennium. All events and activities of this celebration are free. The REACH Winter Lanterns exhibit is presented in collaboration with Kaleido Arts & Entertainment LLC.
Winter Lanterns PLUS: China
The Lunar New Year celebration showcasing Chinese arts and culture will be staged from January 27 to 30. Interactive activities will include photo ops with tiger and panda characters, a chance to write a New Year’s wish for 2022 and take-home crafts including a tiger mask, zodiac stickers and kits reel. Additionally, visitors can write a letter to Bao Bao, Tai Shan, and Bei Bei, the famous pandas born at the Smithsonian National Zoo, which will be delivered to their current home in China.
On Saturday, January 29, the Asian American Music Society will present a “Prelude to the New Year’s Young Musicians Concert” on the Millennium Stage. The show will feature the winners and singers of the 2021 Asian American Music Society competition and student musicians from George Mason University, playing traditional Eastern and Western classical repertoires with wind instruments and stringed.
The China Celebration is supported by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese American Museum in Washington, D.C.
Winter Lanterns PLUS: Korea
The second REACH Winter Lanterns PLUS weekend, February 3-6, will highlight Korean arts and culture and include a display of traditional costumes at the River Pavilion. Interactive activities will include the game Dock Chee (ddakji), using handmade origami game pieces, as well as kits to make traditional lamps and spinning tops.
On February 3, group G-Hwaja will perform “Sound of Korean Soul” on the Millennium Stage. The show will feature creative contemporary compositions mixed with traditional Korean instruments, such as the haegeum (a stringed instrument), a janggu (an hourglass) and gayageums (traditional Korean zithers), as well as K-pop dancers .
Korea Celebration is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.
“We hope these fun Lunar New Year celebrations will inspire visitors with new information and curiosity to learn more about these cultures,” Adams said. “The mission of the Kennedy Center is, in part, to help people understand and appreciate different cultures. The arts are the most powerful tool we have to bring people together.