The Southampton Mela Festival returns to Hoglands Park on Saturday 16th July, featuring world-class music and dance artists, delicious food from local businesses across the Southern region, as well as family fun activities, creative workshops and a huge range of stalls to peruse throughout the day. In the lead up to the festival, we are catching up with some of the artists who will be performing at this years festival. Here we talk with Director Ping Hua from The Chinese Arts Southampton
Hi Ping, thankyou for joining us. What can we expect to see with your performance at the Mela this year?
The Chinese Arts Southampton, the first well-established Chinese music and dance Group in South England, was formed in 2000. The aims of the group are to promote Chinese art and culture, and to enable the local Chinese community to contribute towards the cultural diversity of Southampton and the surrounding region. This is to raise awareness and understanding of Chinese art and culture amongst all communities. The group features volunteer musicians and dancers. The group is very popular and has been continually sought after since it was established.
There are Chinese music instrumental classes, instrumental ensembles and adult, children Chinese folk dance classes taking place every Saturday afternoon during school term time. For more detail, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this year’s Mela, we will present the Chinese music instrument ensemble and Chinese folk music on the World Stage. We will also perform the Ocarina solo, and Liuqin (Chinese four stringed lute) solo. These instruments’ solos will be performed at the Mela for the first time this year..
On the Communities Stage, we will perform children’s Chinese dance. The children’s dance group had to stop its weekly dance practice for nearly two years due to the lockdown and have only just started again this year. The children in our dance group are very much looking forward to performing at this year’s Mela.
We will also present our ladies’ dance group, a traditional classical dance based on a poem named “Moonlight over the West Building “by Qingzhao Li, the most famous female lyricist in Chinese history. We will also present a passionate modern dance, and Chinese music instrument solos between dances.
What are your earliest/favourite memories of the Mela to date?
Our group has been performing at the Southampton Mela since 2009, it is one of highlights of our annual summer activities. Our members enjoy the festival atmosphere at the Mela, appreciating diversity culture, art, music, and food etc., meeting old or new friends coming from different communities. It’s a fun day for everyone!
What projects have you been working on lately?
We are currently working on our Middle Autumn Festival concert, which will be held in late October this year. Our group is also involved with the new community-focussed public art project for Southampton: Co-Creating the Public Realm, in partnership with John Hansard Gallery; the project starts in April 2022 and runs over two years.
Where and when can we see you perform at the Mela this year?
We will perform Chinese music instrument ensemble and solos on Chinese folk music on the World Stage at 2.30pm, and Chinese music and dance on the Communities Stage from 4.30pm.
The Southampton Mela 2022 is on Saturday 16th July and opens from 12 midday until 9pm – free entry for everyone. Come and celebrate with us!