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China’s Renowned Baoting Li and Miao Dance Troupe to Present Convocation and Evening Performance

October 12, 2012

The Baoting Li and Miao Autonomous County Song and Dance Troupe, an award-winning music and dance group from the Chinese island of Hainan, will perform at Carleton College’s weekly convocation on Friday, Oct. 19. The group is dedicated to the traditional folk music of the Li and Miao (also known as Hmong outside China) ethnic groups, who live mostly in southern China and Southeast Asia. This special convocation will be held in the Carleton College Concert Hall from 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., and it is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at http://apps.carleton.edu/events/convocations/.

Later than same evening, the Baoting Li and Miao Dance Troupe will perform again at 8 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Both morning and evening performances are free and open to the public.

The Song and Dance Troupe hails from the Baoting Li and Miao Autonomous County, a largely minority region in southeastern Hainan (an island in the South China Sea). The Li people are native to Hainan, having lived there for over 3,000 years, and number over a million. The Miao came to Hainan from the mainland in the 18th century as mercenaries putting down a Li rebellion against the throne; the Miao living on Hainan today are descended from the soldiers who decided to stay. Both the Li and the Miao have their own languages, identities and folkways as well as distinct musical traditions.

The Song and Dance Troupe, whose trip to Minnesota (which also includes a performance Oct. 16 at the University of Minnesota) marks their U.S. debut, has been developing Baoting’s local music and dance for over nine years. In recent years, the troupe has begun to achieve wider recognition outside Hainan through performances across China. The Chinese Ministry of Culture recently commissioned the troupe to perform in foreign countries such as Russia, Germany, Sweden, Ireland and Japan. The convocation and evening performance aim to demonstrate the unique beauty of the Li and Miao cultures and of their homeland.

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. The Carleton College Concert Hall is located on First Street, between Winona and Nevada Streets, in Northfield.

Written by Jacob Cohn '13