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While most IU students were heading home for winter break, students in IU’s African American Dance Company were boarding a 13-hour flight to Beijing.
The 14 students and four IU faculty engaged in a weeklong cultural exchange with the School of Law and Humanities at China University of Mining and Technology Beijing.
Among the week’s activities was a lecture demonstration for Chinese students and faculty, an African drum workshop for Chinese students, and a traditional Chinese dance class for the IU students. The IU group also visited the Forbidden City and Great Wall of China.
About 400 people attended a culminating concert performance featuring the African American Dance Company and China University of Mining and Technology Beijing dancers.
“Our concert was the true definition of cultural exchange,” said IU junior and theater major Ryan Malone. “We brought a new style and culture to hundreds of people in China who likely had never heard of or experienced an African-American aesthetic.”