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Savannah Asian Cultural Festival - April 2017

April 21 & 22  ♦  Live Performances, Asian Cuisine, Cultural Marketplace & Family-Friendly Fun

Free and open to the public

Armstrong State University and the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs will present the 2017 Savannah Asian Cultural Festival, one of the South’s largest Asian celebrations, on April 21st and 22nd. All events will take place at Armstrong’s campus at 11935 Abercorn St. in Savannah.

The festival is free and open to the public. The  Savannah Asian Cultural Festival will bring the continent of Asia to coastal Georgia, celebrate the rich diversity of the area and feature unique cultures, cuisine, live performances and more.

Friday, April 21

7:30 p.m. ♦ Armstrong Fine Arts Auditorium

A celebration of Asian cultural arts featuring live music and dance from several Asian countries

This special event will be opened by Linda M. Bleicken, President of Armstrong State University, and by dignitaries from the City of Savannah’s government officials and staff from the city's Office of Cultural Affairs. 

The evening's entertainment is devoted primarily to professional music and dance performers from the South Seas Island, Japan, South Korean and China.

Saturday, April 22

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. ♦ Armstrong Burnett Lawn Main Stage

MC - Gabe Lee (South Korea) and Shannon Vo (Viet Nam)

11 a.m. - Parade of Nations

With participants from 20 countries in native dress and following their country’s flag at the opening the 2017 Festival. The celebration is opened by Mayor Eddie DeLoach and Armstrong President, Linda Bleicken. National anthem sung by Cecilia Arango (Viet Nam)  

11:45 a.m. -  Tae Kwon Do Exhibition with Grandmaster Lee

For 4,000 years, TaeKwonDo has been the Korean art of self defense. Today it has transformed into a fascinating Olympic sport. Literally translated, it means “The art of hand and foot defense.” However, it is much more than kicking and punching. It is a way of honoring both mind and body, offering the physical benefits of strength and coordination; mental benefits of self-confidence and judgement; and philosophical benefits such as respect, honesty and comraderie.

Grandmaster Jong Ho Lee is a 9th Degree Black Belt with over 50 years of experience in the martial arts. He has taught for over 40 years in his Savannah studio, reaching over 10,000 students ranging in age from 2 ½ to 70 years. Today, Grandmaster Lee, along with his family, will lead his class in a performance for you!  Please welcome Grandmaster Lee and his students to the stage.

12:15 p.m. - Matsuriza Taiko Drummers of Japan

One of our featured performers at this year’s Festival is the “Matsuriza Taiko Drum Group.”  While Matsuriza means “festival drumming”, Taiko in the Japanese classical arts refers to both the modern art of Taiko drumming (aka kumi-daiko), and to the powerful Taiko drums themselves. Literally, Taiko means “Fat Drum.”  In ancient Japan, Taiko drumming was utilized in the battlefield, religious ceremonies and in village festivals.  The Matsuriza Taiko Drummers have performed regularly at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida as well as numerous venues and festivals throughout the U.S.  Ladies and Gentlemen, the Matsuriza Taiko Drummers.

Japan is said to be the country of the far east, where the sun rises first. Once upon a time, it was even called the “Land of Gold”.   The people of Japan people believed that their success and happiness can be achieved in such legendary land. This afternoon, we will explore the wonders of Japan  It is one of the countries where  the morning sun shines the it is the earliest. As we watch the performance today, know that the word, Matsuriza, means ‘‘Festival Drumming.’’ Our group was first established in 1983, some 32 years ago.

12:45 p.m. - Thailand Dance with Val Prompalin

Ms. Val Prompalin, a native of Thailand, leads a demonstration of her country’s dances in beautiful original Thai dresses.

1:00 p.m. - Chinese Musicians and Dancers

From The People’s Republic of China, these performers are using traditional music instruments to provide samples of Chinese tradition to our Savannah based audience.

1:25 p.m. - Program Break

1:40 p.m. - The Filipino Dancers of Savannah

A group of local adults and children with Filipino heritage perform a series of traditional dances from the beautiful Philippines. As many of you know, the Philippines is an archipelagic nation located in Southeast Asia with Manila as its capital city. Consisting of more than 7,000 islands, it is one of the largest archipelagos in the world. The islands are grouped into three sections: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Today's performances celebrate the beauty of nature as well as everyday life in this country.

2:05 p.m. - Prince Pele's Polynesian Revue

A performance of traditional Polynesian dance.

2:40 p.m. - SANATAN Mandir with traditional Garba Dance of India and a mix of Bollywood

3:05 p.m. - Belly Dancing by Salwa Brannen

3:15 p.m. - Tae Kwon Do Exhibition II


11:45 a.m. - 4 p.m. ♦ Armstrong International Gardens

The International Garden performances include workshops and audience participation in some of the activities.

11:00 a.m. - Indian Dance Performance

Noon - Yoga Class

1:00 p.m. Tai Chi with Myung Lee

1:30 p.m. - Belly Dancing Class with Salwa Brannen

2:00 p.m. - Karate with Pooler Karate School

3:00 p.m. -  Bollywood Class with Janki Patel

All Day - Traditional Pakistani Tea Ceremony