The dancers will unveil the Dai Minority Peacock Dance on the stage at CAFAM’s annual Chinese New Year celebration of the Year of the Monkey, which will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 6 at Westbrook Performing Arts Center. The Peacock Dance is a traditional dance of the Dai Minority and is a favorite throughout China. It requires great precision of movement, and is the first of two dances to be taught during the apprenticeship.
The apprentices are Mae Pryor Rosenstein, age 16, Sylvie Pryor Rosenstein, age 16, and Lily Thompson, age 15. Mae and Sylvie are twin daughters of Kelli Pryor and Andrew Rosenstein of Windham, and they attend Baxter Academy for Technology and Science in Portland. Lily is a daughter of Bruce and Betsy Thompson of Portland, where Lily attends Casco Bay High School.
The three girls have been performing Chinese dance together since they were preschoolers at CAFAM Chinese School, which holds classes in Portland’s Ocean Avenue School. Master dancer Fan Luo has taught at the school on and off for a decade. The school is currently celebrating its 20th year of bringing southern Maine families together on Saturday mornings for Chinese culture and Mandarin classes that emphasize fun and friendship.
The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship is funded in part by the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.