Cultural Fusions

To celebrate multiculturalism in Peterborough, we have created Cultural Fusions, a series of six videos showcasing different cultures and traditions through dance and music performances.

Cultural Fusion brings dancers and musicians from different countries together in Peterborough to create unique pieces!

Classical Italian Opera Vissi d arte from the opera Tosca Performed by Dominique Oh

Dominique Oh graduated from the University of Seoul in South Korea with a bachelor’s degree in music, majoring in voice. She performed as a soprano soloist and served as a choir conductor at several churches in Korea. After 12 years living in Canada, Dominique has connected with others through music. She met her accompanist Lois Mackenzie at Paul’s Mission of Peterborough.

With her expertise in classical Western music, Dominique skilfully expresses the deep emotions behind “Vissi d’Arte” from the Italian Opera “Tosca” for #NCCCulturalFusions

Venezuelan Cuatro Performed by Rodney Fuentes

Rodney Fuentes immigrated to Canada 21 years ago. Experience Venezuela through his skillful performance on the cuatro, a four-stringed instrument derived from the Spanish guitar.
The cuatro deeply connects each and every Venezuelan to each other and to their national culture. It nurtures Rodney’s love of his homeland, and contributes to the diverse musical landscape in Canada.

Classical Piano Performed by Steven Penagos

Steven Penagos is a second-generation Canadian pianist whose family heritage hails from Colombia. Steven has been playing the piano for nearly 15 years. To this day, he is refining his skills and has performed at various locations across Northumberland.
For #CulturalFusions, Steven presents three soulful piano melodies: Prelude in G flat Major, op. 23, no. 10 (Rachmaninoff), Beloved (Lanz) and Postludium, op. 13, no. 10 (von Dohnányi). His gift touches many hearts – his love for classical music is evident in his repertoire, and signifies on what music can impact regardless of nationality.

Bharatanatyam “Alaipayuthe Kanna” Performed by Mintu Maria James

Mintu Maria James moved to Peterborough from India in 2016. She comes from a family of professional dancers – she learned Bharatanatyam, a 2000-year-old ancient classical Indian dance from Tamil Nadu, and Kuchipudi, a classical dance that originated in Andhra Pradesh, from her father.
For #CulturalFusions, Mintu shares a Bharatanatyam performance of “Alaipayuthe Kanna”. This dance performance is about Radha’s wait for her love Lord Krishna. As restless as the waves of the ocean, her mind is also awash with misery and longing.

Ukrainian Violin Performed by Luba Berzuk

Luba Berezuk was born in St. Catharines to a Ukrainian father and an Austrian mother who met in England after WW2 and immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s. It wasn’t unusual for her father to burst into song, always a lively Ukrainian folk melody, at the dinner table, with all of the family joining in.
After moving to Peterborough in 1998 with her husband, Luba joined the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra (PSO). She continues to play there today and is also part of a string quartet.
Both folk pieces in this #CulturalFusions performance express Luba’s love and pride for her Ukrainian heritage. The patriotic song “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow” represents the Ukrainian spirit of courage and strength. The lively dance medley, the Kolomeyka, is the heart of a Ukrainian celebration and an expression of the Ukrainian people’s joyful and vibrant spirit.

Chinese Opera “The Ode to the Pear Blossom” Performed by Shaoling Wang and the Dragon Voice Peking Opera Troupe

Dr. Shaoling Wang has been teaching Chinese language and culture in North America and Taiwan for more than two decades. Chinese Opera is an integrated art reflecting rich Chinese philosophy and thoughts. Shaoling started to appreciate the art form when she was in the third grade as her mother was a skilled singer.
In 2019, Shaoling was introduced to the Toronto Dragon Voice Peking Opera Troupe (Longsheng Jingju) and started to collaborate with them. In this beautiful #Cultural Fusions performance, they share “Lihua Song – The Ode to the Pear Blossom”.
It is a modified Chinese Opera song which depicts the love between the Emperor and Concubine Yang from the Tang Dynasty. Shaoling attempts this piece in both Chinese and English to attract more people, young and old, Chinese and non-Chinese, to appreciate this Chinese art form.