A buoyant, colorful collection of varied dances, gorgeous costumes and sheer spectacle marked this weekend's "Radiance," by the Chinese American Association of Minnesota's Chinese Dance Theater at the O'Shaughnessy. The Spring Festival production took place on the last weekend of the Lunar New Year 15-day celebration, and the performance brought together performers of all ages and skill levels for the joyful event.

It began by honoring the year of the rabbit in an adorable piece choreographed by artistic director Jinyu Zhou, featuring the youngest performers from CDT's dance academy. Wearing bunny ears and sparkly tutu costumes, the little rabbits outsmarted the wolf character (performed by Chris Newton) in a delightful dance that incorporated hopping, cartwheeling and play.

From there, more advanced performers presented one of the highlights of the production: "A New Beginning," choreographed by former artistic director Lili Teng, who still teaches at the school. Dancing in front of a floral tree backdrop, the dancers wore bright yellow costumes and held pink feathered fans. Teng's choreography in this and other works showcased a keen sense of dramatic visual imagery. The dancers created gorgeous patterns and shapes with the fans as they glided through the flowing movements, making use of spirals with their bodies and circular pathways with their steps.

In another highlight later in the program, Aloe Liu performed "Peacock Dance," drawn from a folk dance style from the Dai ethnic group. Historically performed by men, it's now performed by both men and women in cultural celebrations.

Hailing from the Yunnan province where the Dai originated, Liu transformed the folk dance into a spellbinding piece of performance art, accompanied by the sound of water. She wore a white dress dotted with black eyedrop shapes with a voluminous skirt she used to create wings in furious, mesmerizing flight. Perhaps the most astonishing moment was when Liu had her back turned to the audience, moving her arms in odd angles and making rippling movements with her shoulder blades.

The evening had highly acrobatic works, like Teng's "A Spring Welcome," and more introspective, lyrical works. In pieces like "Water Towns in a Dream" and "A Moonlight Reverie," Zhou drew from paintings and poems to create works in the tradition of modern dance, at the same time incorporating Chinese cultural elements and dance vocabulary.

Around 65 dancers joined together for the event's celebratory lantern ceremony finale, "Radiance," choreographed by Teng and Zhou. With dramatic lighting and an abundance of props and pageantry, the last piece sent the audience off on a brimming high note to continue the year.