Cuba is marking the Chinese Lunar New Year.

This year, for the first time, a Chinese touring company came to Havana to put on a gala show.

CGTN’s Michael Voss reports.

Havana used to have one of the largest Chinatown’s in Latin America.

Their traditions still live on, and each year there are festivities to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

China was the guest nation of honor at the Havana international book fair and along with authors and publishers came a leading cultural ensemble.

There are 24 musicians, singers, dancers and acrobats, all part of an international touring company from Shandong Province in eastern China.

“This is the first time for us in Cuba, and the Ministry of Culture placed great importance on the visit. We picked the best artists and cover almost all styles We want the people of Cuba to enjoy the performances,” Artistic Director Tingqi Wing said.

There’s a real mix of cultural styles on display, from classical Beijing Opera to one of the top rated acrobatic troupe’s in China.

The gala performance took place over two nights at Havana’s Grand Theater.

Acrobats have a universal appeal but opera, especially Chinese opera, is very much of an acquired taste.

The opera passage was from one of the classics, The Drunken Beauty, set more than a thousand years ago when a disappointed mistress gets drunk and sings of her love for the emperor.

There were modern acts including acrobatic jugglers.

Cubans are passionate about ballet and the Shandong dance company helped east meet west with their performance entitled, “Rainy Urban Alley.”

Of all the acts, though, it was the acrobats who proved the most popular.