To coincide with Chinese New Year, Altrincham-based Back to the Garden Childcare enlisted Master Chen (Deqing Chen), the founder and director of Jin Long Culture & Performing Arts, to ensure the nursery children and their families enjoyed an authentic celebration.
Combining both Chinese classical and contemporary arts, Master Chen and his team performed a lion dance in the car park of the nursery, followed by a short martial arts workshop.
Bringing good luck and fortune, the lion dance is a traditional dance in Chinese culture and often forms a large part of the Chinese New Year festival. The martial arts workshop showcased the modern day sport whilst educating on the deep roots of ancient martial and cultural arts of China.
Commenting on the Chinese New Year celebration, Ann Marie Ellison, Nursery Manager at Back to the Garden, said: “Master Chen is well known in the Greater Manchester Chinese community and respected for his work promoting Chinese cultural arts through performance, workshops, demonstrations and teaching.
“We wanted the children to learn more about Chinese New Year and the importance of the festival, so what better way than a fabulous lion dance performance and martial arts workshop. Both elements are visual, interactive and inspiring, very much bringing the celebration to life.”
Master Chen, who is originally from Kaifeng in China but now lives in Altrincham, is a cultural event organiser, a performer and martial artist with more 20 years’ experience teaching and performing Chinese Martial Arts.
He is dedicated to integrating Chinese culture across Greater Manchester communities, and indeed the whole of the UK, working closely with schools, businesses and organisations. Master Chen is the Arts Director for the Chinese New Year celebration in Manchester’s China Town and Albert Square, which is considered one of the best in Europe. He also teaches Wushu and Tai Chi.
Master Chen adds: “It was a pleasure to perform at Back to the Garden and host a workshop for the children. They seemed to enjoy both activities and I hope to return again in the future.”