Barnard Elementary students perform at Balboa Park Moon Festival

Posted: Thursday, September 27th 2018

Barnard fourth grader Holly C. performs a traditional Chinese dance at the Balboa Park Moon Festival. Photo courtesy of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University.

More than 40 students from Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School took to the stage at the 2018 Moon Festival in Balboa Park on September 22 to showcase their Chinese cultural arts talents and language skills. It is the third consecutive year that Barnard’s students have performed in this annual event.

The school’s “Flying Arts” performance troupe, comprised of second through fifth grade students, presented a dance interpretation of Mulan, the legendary warrior woman from 5th century China. Later in the program, students from Barnard’s fourth grade classrooms performed a dance from the Yi Torch Festival. Set to traditional music from the southwest region of China, this dance commemorates the fabled wrestler Atilaba, who drove away a plague of locusts using torches made from pine trees.

Another group of Barnard students joined instructors from the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University to demonstrate the slow-moving exercises of tai chi, which has its origin in the fighting arts.

“I love performing traditional Chinese dances with my friends,” said fourth grader Holly C., a member of both dance groups. “It helps me learn what China might actually be like. It was fun being on the stage with all the other dancers, and I especially liked seeing my dad wave to me from the audience while I was up there.”

In addition to the extensive artistic talents displayed on the stage, the event highlighted the foundation of Barnard’s Mandarin immersion program: the language itself. Fifth grade student Texas Z. served as a guest emcee for the event, alternately introducing each performance in Mandarin and English.

For information on Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School, or to find out about the District’s School Choice program, visit The Choice application window for the 2019- 2020 school year will open between October 1 and November 13 of this year.

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