Dancer to give presentation for Chinese New Year

January 17, 2003

Owen Brown resident Xiao Fang Xu, a distinguished professional dancer, will give a presentation Jan. 25 at the Savage branch library to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Xu, originally from Shanghai, China, will describe the Chinese New Year and show a video of Chinese classical and folk dance. The program will begin at 10 a.m. in the meeting room.

The Chinese New Year, which this year begins Feb. 1, is a time of elaborate celebration. Xu said that people might confuse the day with World War III because of its booming firecrackers and boisterous parades.

"It is the biggest Chinese holiday," she said.

Diane Li of Ellicott City is coordinator of the Chinese New Year celebration at the library. Li met Xu at their church, Columbia Chinese Baptist Church, and has seen her dance once.

"She was good, very expressive," Li said. "She dances with her soul."

Xu, who has retired as a dancer, performed for President Richard M. Nixon during his first state visit to China. In 1996, she founded the Hua Sha Chinese Dance Center in Columbia to "preserve Chinese culture in the new home life" for immigrants.

The nonprofit center is dedicated to training adults and children ages 4 and older in Chinese dance. Xu has choreographed 10 Chinese classical and folk dances in the past five years.

Michelle Yu, 16, of Ellicott City, a student and member of Xu's award-winning dance troupe, may join her at the Savage library to demonstrate some of the dances.

Members of the Hua Sha Chinese Dance Center will perform Jan. 31 at Centennial High School for the school's Chinese New Year celebration.

Last year, the library celebrated the holiday with Chinese crafts, a Chinese puppet show and a bilingual story reading. Li read stories such as Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney in Chinese while Susan Maranto of the Miller branch library read the stories in English.

This year, Li and Maranto will hold the bilingual story reading for children at the Miller branch.

The event at the Savage branch is for adults and families. Registration is requested.

Information: 410-880-5990.

Bethel Assembly of God to hold blood drive Jan. 30

Bethel Assembly of God, 9001 Vollmerhausen Road, Savage, will hold a Red Cross blood drive in response to an urgent call for blood donations.

The drive will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 30.

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred.

Information and appointments: 301-498-3344 or 410-792- 8334.

Savage Historical Society to hear talk on old homes

The Savage Historical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at 9032 Baltimore St., Savage.

Mike Logan of the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will speak about maintenance of historic homes.

The second printing of the society's 2003 historical calendar, "Times to Remember" will be available.

Information: the Rev. Galen Menne, 301-725-7630.

South Laurel rec council taking winter registration

The South Laurel Recreation Council Inc. is accepting registration for its winter session, which will begin Tuesday. Some classes are to begin in subsequent weeks.

Classes for children, teens and adults are offered at Montpelier, James Harrison and Oaklands elementary schools and at the carriage house on the grounds of the Montpelier Mansion in south Laurel.

African dance, beginning and intermediate cake decorating, country line dancing, floral design with fresh flowers, salsa, tai chi, stamping techniques and other classes are available.

Information: 401-776-2805.

Birth

Erin Nicole: To Paul and Jeanette Straley of Laurel on Jan. 2.

Around town

Agewell: Savage Senior Center, 9525 Durness Lane, will offer a Level One 50+ Agewell exercise class at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. The class, designed to help with arthritic pain and increase physical strength and balance, will begin when 10 participants are registered. Transportation is available through Howard Transit. The cost is $24 for 16 classes. Edith Bennett, 410-880-5915.

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