The South Island Lantern Festival boasts an array of international performers, including a delegation of musicians from Shanghai. Many of the performers have travelled to Christchurch numerous times for past lantern festivals and have always enjoyed the Kiwi welcome they receive in the Garden City.
The performers listed below can be seen on the two river stages at the festival. One can be found across the Avon River from The Terrace, the second in Victoria Square.
There will also be roving street performers, including lion dancers and other traditional Chinese acts.
Saxophonist Hua Jun is one of those people who make things look easy. He switches between instrument at will, specialising in the soprano sax.
When he’s not performing internationally at cultural events like the South Island Lantern Festival, Hua Jun can be found busking on the streets of Shanghai.
Yu Hanyi dominates the stage when he takes it. A skilful guitarist and singer, he is partial to a stint on the blues harmonica when the mood strikes.
Busking on Shanghai streets, he said, was part of his artistic practice. He once held a job in the local Shaoxing government, but quit when he realised music was his dream. Who doesn’t love someone making their dreams come true? Get down and show this man some love.
Serving as an interlude between musicians, Zheng Yongqiang is set to wow gathered visitors with his acrobatic skill. Alongside acrobatics, he will showcase his vast kung-fu knowledge. Kids will no doubt leave the performance air-kicking and spinning down the street.
Bringing the beat back to the stage, Ning Xiangnan is a percussion musician ready to get the crowd’s feet tapping. He performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and other major world events, and now brings his talent to the stage in Christchurch.
Yang Liu is a multi-instrumentalist from the Hunan Province, which has a long history of culture. With vast experience in stage performance and television, expect a polished musical experience.
LI Haitao, Morinhuur & Singing
The morinhuur is perhaps China’s most iconic musical instrument. Li Haitao will take the stage to play the famous stringed instrument, as well as sing songs in various styles, including hoomei, a form of traditional Mongolian throat-singing.