Chai Found Music Workshop was formed in 1991 and has toured Asia, Europe and the Americas with their unique contemporary takes on Chinese classical music. Photo supplied

Musical feast celebrates Lunar New Year in Courtenay

Chai Found Music Workshop performs contemporary take on Chinese music Jan. 27

This Lunar New Year, indulge a calorie-free dinner for your eyes and ears to enjoy.

Join Chai Found Music Workshop for “A Musical Banquet” this Lunar New Year in Courtenay.

The event is at the Sid Williams Theatre on Monday, Jan. 27 starting at 7:30 p.m. The performance is part of LunarFest events in Vancouver and Mississauga, Ont.

Known for their interpretation of traditional chamber music, Chai Found Music Workshop’s new way of performing brings a fresh perspective of celebrating this music. The Taiwanese troupe was formed in 1991 and has toured Asia, Europe and the Americas with its unique contemporary takes on Chinese classical music.

“A Musical Banquet” draws on the tradition of holding “bandoh” (street banquet) to celebrate occasions throughout the year and encompasses three elements characteristic of Chai Found Music Workshop. It hopes to convey to the audience through “A Musical Banquet” the jovial bandoh unique scenery and flavours familiar to the Taiwanese people. Done in the traditional performance form called chiudayue, “A Musical Banquet” is comprised of a wind and percussion ensemble that calls on the traditional while serving the contemporary. To further break and reinvent the traditional form, the performance is enhanced with theatrical elements to tell its story in a play-like manner.

Leading the group of chefs through the boisterous steps in preparation for the big feast is the head chef of the bandoh, represented in performance by the music director. From the selection of quality ingredients at the marketplace to a heated cooking match, Chai Found Music Workshop showcases the rigorous work it takes to prepare these types of grandiose banquets. The reward is the 10 dishes to enjoy and savour, with each carrying a symbolic name that ties in important values such as love and prosperity.

Audiences across Canada will be taken on a rhythmic journey toward a feast, unlike any other New Year meal. Instead of celebrating the New Year the same as always, enjoy this new way of performing. Celebrate the Lunar New Year with your friends and family as you enjoy a New Year banquet with Chai Found Workshop.

RELATED STORY: Year Of The Pig celebration Feb. 10 at Courtenay’s Filberg Centre

Tickets are available through the Sid Williams box office. To purchase or find out more information, contact 250-338-2430, tickets@sidwilliamstheatre.com or see sidwilliamstheatre.com

Chai Found Music Workshop also welcomes musicians on Vancouver Island to a gathering at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay from 6 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 28. If you would like to take part in or observe, reserve your spot with Jin Lin of the Comox Valley Multicultural Society at 250-792-0738.

The Asian-Canadian Special Events Association and the Society of We Are Canadians Too, with support from the Ministry of Culture (Taiwan) have expanded the trip of Chai Found Musical Workshop to bring it to Courtenay. This is part of LunarFest, held in Vancouver and Toronto every year. For more information on all LunarFest activities and exhibitions, see lunarfest.org.

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“A Musical Banquet” draws on the tradition of holding “bandoh,” or a street banquet. Photo supplied

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