China Report: Performance Day in Yangzhou

December 31, 2007 at 5:35 pm (Overseas Tour) (, , , )

Yangzhou - photo: Andy Waddington

The day started well with coaches from the hotel for Technicians and Dancers if they wanted but most people walked.

On arrival at 9am the smell of urine from the toilets was truly awful in the back corridor. The heating was turned on at 10.30 and by 11.30 the whole place was pleasantly warm. Class went smoothly. Air fresheners were purchased and liberally spread around the toilets. The sweet smell of ALL JOY filled the corridor and kind of masked the awful smell.

Then it was discovered that the performance tonight was sponsored by the local TV Company. They wanted to record the whole performance. They started bringing in the cables and equipment in the middle of the Technical Rehearsal and in the end we locked them out so Paul Mansfield could see the lighting states on stage without swathes of daylight coming from the open doorway.

Apparently the government own all the TV companies and according to Young, our Promoter, who is as surprised by this as anyone, the big man in the area was coming to see the performance this evening and had instructed the TV company to film it. Young said it would cause huge problems with the government if we say no. We stood our ground and did say No. There followed further heated moments but eventually a compromise was found and we agreed that they could film the audience arriving and the curtain call but none of the performance. Technical Director, Andy Waddington spent the performance sat next to the recording system. The TV Company were told that no cameramen would be allowed in the theatre until the blackout at the end of the performance and then only with handheld cameras. It was made very clear that the performance would be stopped if any filming was attempted. Andy has extensive TV knowledge so there was no chance of anything getting past him.

The coldest room in the theatre was the lighting box where Paul had to wrap up in jumpers and coats. It was 3 or 4 degrees in the box but step through the door and it was 22 degrees. Very baffling.

Today was the last time we will be seeing the Hangzhou Orchestra and we thank them for their efforts. It certainly wasn’t the easiest night’s work for Assistant Music Director, Nigel Gaynor.

The performance went very well. It was Pippa Moore as Butterfly partnered with Chris Hinton Lewis as Pinkerton. They danced extremely well in front of a full house. Trouble was nearly 31/2 foot tall – which is rather large for a 3 year old!

The get out went well starting at 9.45pm and finished at 11.30pm then everybody went back to the hotel for drinks on the 28th floor bar to join the rest of the company drinking and toasting.

Happy New Year to all our readers

Nanjing - photo: Andy Waddington

Tech Rehersal - photo: Andy Waddington

Class - photo: Andy Waddington

Trailers - photo: Andy Waddington

Yangzhou Grand Theatre - photo: Andy Waddington

Yangzhou Grand Theatre lobby - photo: Andy Waddington

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