Casa Romantica lines up Chinese American artists to celebrate Lunar New Year

Dance Impressions Productions and STC Performing Arts perform at Disney's California Adventure.
Casa Romantica is celebrating Chinese American artists for Lunar New Year, including a performance by Dance Impressions Productions and STC Performing Arts.
(Courtesy of Dance Impressions Productions/STC Foundation)

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens in San Clemente is celebrating Chinese American artists for the Lunar New Year, including two performances by world-renowned Chinese zither performer Bei Bei.

“Casa Romantica invites the community to join us for a celebration of the Lunar New Year in the Chinese cultural tradition, exploring the ways that Chinese American artists have maintained time-honored New Year rituals and fused them with contemporary arts and culture in America,” said Amy Behrens, executive director at Casa Romantica, in a news release.

The free and specially ticketed performances are scheduled to take place Feb. 1 through 15 as part of Casa Romantica’s new “Connections” programming, which curates events around specific themes.


“Casa Romantica — and, by extension, Orange County — is home to people from all over the world who have brought their cultural traditions with them,” Behrens said in the release.

Some of the events are free in order to make the celebrations accessible to all families.

The event lineup kicks off on Jan. 29 with Pacific Trio Music of China. The trio features the zither, pipa, dizi, er-hu and more authentic instruments and will perform traditional Chinese music.

On Feb. 6, Casa Romantica’s monthly free community event, D. Yoder Family Sundays, will include its usual activities as well as a few Lunar New Year traditions. The first 100 guests will receive lucky red envelopes, with some containing prizes.

Performer Bei Bei stands beside a guzheng, a Chinese zither.
(Courtesy of Bei Bei Monter)

Classical Chinese zither player Bei Bei will perform on Feb. 10 and 11.

“I am grateful to be able to represent Chinese culture,” Bei Bei said in the release, “and I hope my performance will deepen your understanding of its richness and beauty. The music that I play will also bring a sense of optimism and renewal to celebrate the new year and the spring.”

The guzheng (pronounced goo-jung) is a type of Chinese zither with 21 strings. The instrument has a history of over 2,500 years in China, where it was used in both folk and court music. Bei Bei, who was born in Chengdu, China but now resides in Los Angeles, is not only a guzheng performer but a composer, recording artist and instructor.

Night one will feature traditional and original music, highlighting the guzheng’s classical roots, while night two will highlight the performer’s modern music ability, incorporating pop, funk and jazz.

“I am honored to perform two shows at Casa Romantica, this beautiful historic space, by myself and with my fusion band,” Bei Bei said. “I intend to take my audience on a journey from China’s ancient wisdom to its contemporary innovations.”

The Lunar New Year celebration will close on Feb. 17 with a performance from Dance Impressions Productions and the STC Foundation. The show will feature classical Chinese dance and drumming in Casa Romantica’s main salon with a reception to meet the cast after the performance.

For tickets and information, visit or call (949) 498-2139.

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