Visiting performers a hit with crowds

The Yeupu Drum group from Shanghai performing in the Octogon. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Yeupu Drum group from Shanghai performing in the Octogon. Photo by Craig Baxter.
A drum group from Dunedin sister city Shanghai encountered no shortage of fans during performances in the city this week. 

Female members of the Yuepu Drum Group, visiting Dunedin at the end of a national tour, waved colourful fans at one stage during a performance in the Octagon at 5.30pm on Monday.

And there was no shortage of other fans in the audience, with more than 300 people watching while the performers coaxed a wide range of sounds from cymbals and drums, as well as flutes, and evoked many moods while performing traditional Chinese drum music.

The Yuepu Drum Group hails from Yuepu Town in Baoshan district, northeast Shanghai, which is home to China's biggest steel enterprise, and the world's sixth-biggest steel producer, Baosteel Co Ltd.

When the factory was being built, workers from all over China arrived, bringing different regional traditions of drumming.

These have been combined with Yuepu's traditional Shanghai drumming style to create a ‘‘unique blend of drumming techniques'', the Asia New Zealand Foundation said.

The group gave a second public performance yesterday at the Otago Museum Reserve.

The musicians are visiting New Zealand courtesy of Cathay Pacific, the foundation and the Shanghai Baoshan Administration of Culture Radio and TV.

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