A rehearsal on Tuesday kicked into high gear as the stage at Calgary’s Jubilee Auditorium filled with elementary students waving colourful kites in time with traditional Chinese music.
Kids in the Mandarin program at Highwood School were preparing for their annual Lunar New Year show, putting the kites in the spotlight as part of showcasing Chinese inventions at this year’s performance.
“We thought it would be a good theme because a lot of people, including the children and myself, didn’t realize that many of our everyday things were invented by the Chinese,” said Highwood School principal Christine Cheung. “Sunglasses, for instance, were invented by the Chinese — also paper money and the compass.”
The students said they enjoyed incorporating several of those items into their show, with kites being a particular highlight.
“They’re fun to play with when it’s windy,” said Grade 3 student Jasmine Shields.
She also said she liked performing with a few other everyday items that have their origins in China, such as umbrellas and wheelbarrows.
“Sometimes, you can do amazing things, but you have to work together to do amazing things,” Shields said.
The 2019 Lunar New Year actually starts on Feb. 5, when it’s time to say goodbye to the Year of the Dog and ring in the Year of the Pig.