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Behind the scenes during Chinese New Year

Nearly 300 people rang in the Year of the Pig

4 min read
caption A woman checks her phone in a dressing room while waiting to perform at a gala on Feb. 2.
Meagan Campbell

At Pier 21, at age 21, Selina Qu performed on Saturday night for 280 people. The gala was organized by the Dalhousie Chinese Students and Scholars Association, three days before Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 5. Routines ranged from opera to hip hop to Qu’s traditional Chinese dance.

caption Selina Qu pulls back her hair in a dressing room.
Meagan Campbell
caption Qu, right, prepares her costume with a friend backstage.
Meagan Campbell

By day, Qu studies financial services at NSCC. By night, she has been rehearsing the dance for about two weeks, wearing a costume that involves five face masks made of cloth. “I cannot tell you how warm it is,” she said before the show. “I’m not nervous. I’m just warm.”

caption Qu in full costume.
Meagan Campbell

The event featured 13 performances, and Qu had to wait in her costume for about an hour.

caption A woman prepares for one of the first acts of the evening.
Meagan Campbell
caption A seven-year-old girl dances while awaiting her cue.
Meagan Campbell
caption A performer receives help to adjust his headpiece.
Meagan Campbell

The event lasted four hours, beginning at 5p.m.

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caption Curtains open.
Meagan Campbell

Tickets were $35 for general admission and $68 for VIP passes, which included salad with the meal and seats closer to the stage.

caption Qu performs.
Meagan Campbell

The performance only lasted about five minutes, but it came with sweat and cheers.

caption Qu’s fellow performer drips sweat in the dressing room after exiting the stage.
Meagan Campbell
caption Qu wipes her face after packing her costume into a suitcase.
Meagan Campbell

Rather than staying for the rest of the gala, Qu went home. “Shower, absolutely,” she said.

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