Lunar New Year Performances Round-Up


Remind me why she haven’t been in any ancient dramas lately?


My picks.   Note that I have no music tastes and most choices are purely based on prettiness. Hence why Tong Liya gets photos but no links to the performance, because the rest of the show must have switched costume and stage designers.

For the first time ever, the local channels completely overwhelmed CCTV in every aspect. Better songs, dances, stage design, and even funnier and less misogynist skits.


Best Song-Stage Combo:  While you’re still young by Hua Chenyu
CCTV designers should be taking notes from the simple but so effective stage design for this.  Also, I can’t believe this song wasn’t popular before.

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CCTV Spring Festival Gala pop culture preview


Featuring some of 2014’s hottest stars, CCTV might finally be up-to-date with the times.

We can officially mark 2015 as the year that CCTV finally gave in to pop. Here’s a preview of the pop entertainers of the Spring Festival Gala:

Li Yuchun will finally be on the CCTV Spring Festival Gala. Not only that, she’ll be the only pop singer so far announced to sing one of her own previous songs.  You can even follow along the translated lyrics here (see our foresight?)!  The all-your-theme-songs-are-ours duo of Jane Zhang and Zhang Jie will also perform an unspecified song.

For pretty young men, you can look forward to an act from  Wu Yifan (25), Lu Han (25), William Chan (29) , and swimmer Ning Zetao (21 and unfortunately clothed)  who’ll be singing songs they’re probably too young to be singing (My Ole’ Classmate, A Life With You, Those Flowers, and Brilliant Days respectively).      Facing them are the four beauties, Tong Liya, Qin Lan, Wang Likun, and Ma Su, who’ll be a classical Chinese dance together. The other three are all from highly regarded dance academies, but I’m not sure what Qin Lan is doing. Continue reading

The “androgynous gala” reflects changing attitudes on gender boundaries

WHo's adrogenous now?

“When the two rabbits walk-side-by-side, can you tell who’s male and female?”  – CCTV taking  a lesson  from China’s most famous cross-dresser, Mulan.

Remember back in the days when Li Yuchun was widely criticized for being androgynous, and Western media like the Times even used her as an example of the state’s disapproval of such phenomenon?  Yet if you watched this year’s Spring Festival Gala, nicknamed the “gender-bending gala” by netizens, you would’ve never guessed that was ever an issue.

There’s the now staple performer Li Yugang, a man who is rarely not in a dress, and is dressed up as the moon goddess this year.  Actress Qin Hailu’s skit features  a high-powered female exec with a slick short hairdo and a black suit while her male employee dons a long wig, a pouty voice, and addresses everyone by “dear.”
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Celine Dion sings in Mandarin for Chinese New Year

Celine Dion appeared on CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala last night, singing Jasmine Flower 茉莉花 in Chinese in a duet with Song Zuying 宋祖英. The two red and gold-clad divas opened with a traditional arrangement of the Chinese classic before breaking into an up-tempo pop version of the song.

Following the performance, Celine continued in Mandarin by wishing the audience a happy Spring Festival (“新春快乐”) and a prosperous new year (“恭喜发财”), before taking to the stage solo to belt out her signature song, My Heart Will Go On. Continue reading

Celine Dion to perform on CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala

Celine Dion

International superstar, Celine Dion, will help rein in the lunar new year with the largest television audience on Earth. The Canadian diva is scheduled to perform her signature hit “My Heart Will Go On” live on the CCTV stage, as well as duet with folk songstress Song Zuying 宋祖英 on the Chinese classic “Jasmine Flower 茉莉花.” Record producer and China’s Got Talent judge, Gao Xiaosong 高晓松, coached Dion in singing in Mandarin.

Other musical acts set to appear on the 9 February television event include Voice of China alumnus, Ping An 平安, and judges, Yang Kun 杨坤 and Na Ying 那英; Tan Jing 谭晶; Yoga Lin 林宥嘉 and Zhang Jie 张杰; Taiwanese girl band, S.H.E; classical pianist Li Yundi 李云迪; and Jane Zhang 张靓颖 and Wang Leehom 王力宏. The Spring Festival Gala will reach an estimated audience of one-billion Chinese viewers.

Other international guests have also been invited to perform in Chinese New Year Eve celebrations on regional Chinese television networks. Liaoning Television will play host to the Backstreet Boys. And Psy will give what may be his last “Gangnam Style” horse dance on Dragon TV after suggesting that he may retire the act following his Shanghai performance.