As part of the UK tour of skilled student performers from the Beijing Normal University, Tullie House were delighted to host this free event on Thursday 3rd October as part their ongoing partnership with the Lancaster University Confucius Institute.

The event mostly featured a range of music and dance representing China’s diverse culture and heritage. The expert musicians all played traditional Chinese instruments, including the large Guzheng, four stringed Pipa, violin-like Ehru and classical Dizi bamboo flute.


Female dancers wore a range of traditional costume in a variety of routines choreographed to represent evocative scenes, such as floating peach blossoms and maidens with a yearning for home. Adding more drama to the evening was a powerful kung fu experience, where the students showed off their balance, agility and sills with Chinese fans and nunchuks.

Anna Smalley, Head of Collections and Engagement said “The performance from students from Beijing Normal University was absolutely outstanding! We felt incredibly privileged to have such talented musicians, dancers and martial artists perform in Carlisle. The audience of all ages was absolutely spellbound from start to finish. Our partnership with the Lancaster University Confucius Institute made this performance happen, and we are so grateful to them for this opportunity.”

The evening’s finale was a surprising Chinese rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and Wiz Khalifa’s uplifting modern song ‘See You Again’. With gifts for the audience also included in the performance, the Chinese guests seemed keen to highlight the developing friendship between our nations.

Prof. Jianxin Zhou, Deputy Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute said “Lancaster University Confucius Institute works closely with Tullie House Museum to teach Chinese language and culture at the museum and at schools across Carlisle.  We were delighted to bring this performance by Beijing Normal University to the city of Carlisle. The audience response was wonderful and we deeply appreciated the hospitality of the Right Worshipful Mayor of Carlisle Marilyn Bowman. We look forward to future collaborations with Tullie House and the city of Carlisle.”

Tullie House is continuing to develop links with a museum in China and is set to present a special Chinese exhibition in January 2020.