MULTITUDES who converged at Manthabiseng Convention Centre on Thursday to watch the Yunnan Art Troupe’s performance were treated to enchanting musicals and mesmerising dances as part of Lesotho’s independence golden jubilee celebrations.
The colourful event was organised by the Chinese embassy in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture to celebrate the milestone and foster relations between the two nations.
Among the attendees were government officials and foreign dignitaries as well as members of the Chinese community and ordinary Basotho.
Any concerns about the language barrier were quickly dissolved once the troupe was on the stage as performance art is a universal language. All the acts were razor-sharp and captivating. They ran a wide gamut, from dance, playing musical instruments to opera.
Underlying the 14-piece performances were messages of friendship, love, happiness and beauty among others. The 90-minute show included Tacheng Reba a classical dance with Tibetan origins and Love from Yi Shan which is a Yi clan dance.
The male and female soloists captivated the audience with their high pitched folk songs, while the instrumentalists wowed the crowd with the quintessential traditional Chinese sound.
Local Mokhibo dance group, Linotsi tsa Ha Thebe, held their own during their performance, while Machabeng College Mandarin students sang the countries’ national anthems in Mandarin and Sesotho.
In his remarks, China’s Ambassador to Lesotho, Dr Sun Xianghua, said the troupe’s performance served the twin purpose of entertaining Basotho and fostering cordial relations between the two countries.
He said the Lesotho’s 50 years of independence were a milestone worthy of celebrations hence the visit by the renowned troupe.
“The 50th birthday of a free Lesotho is such an important historical event both locally and internationally. Therefore, it shall be and must be observed and celebrated with pride, aspiration, auspiciousness and joy,” he said.
“Such ineffable moments should also be joined by close friends from near and far. For this reason alone the art troupe from China’s Yunnan Province crossed oceans to join us.”
For her part, Tourism, Environment and Culture Minister Likeleli Tampane said the dance troupe’s visit highlighted the friendship between the two countries.
“We are proud of the cooperation between the two countries as China has a very rich history of culture which dates for thousands of years,” she said.
“Our friendship has grown to greater heights since we signed a cultural exchange agreement in 2000 and local artists have enjoyed training programmes both here and in China.”