Last night after a busy day of shopping, sightseeing and visits to a spa, many of the dancers dined in the Japanese restaurant in the hotel although, according to Hiro, it wasn't really Japanese food!
Today is our first performance in China for this tour.
The Company set off for the Banlam Grand Theatre at 11am for the 10 minute coach journey. As the crow flies it would have been much quicker but the road systems meant a slightly longer route. Fortunately traffic is relatively quiet in this city.
The production travels in 3 containers.
The stage, as with most of the modern venues in China, is vast and there is more space than anyone could possibly use. In fact the stage is replicated behind and to both sides of the main stage area.
Plenty of space to store the flying train for Act 2.
The costumes travel in a fleet of wooden boxes.
The dancers had class at 12pm with an audience of local people made up of dance teachers, dance students and others just interested in seeing a western company at work.
As always on the first day in a new venue, we had a full technical rehearsal where the dancers can get used to the much larger dance space and we can go through all the scene changes and lighting cues. Additionally, as we are not using a live orchestra on this tour, sound levels need to be checked on the sound track which has been put together from a selection of recordings. All went pretty smoothly although it was very cold on stage for the dancers as the venue has no heating and, by bad fortune, we have the coldest day they can remember in Xiamen!
A few of the dancers letting off steam!
The rehearsal was followed by the first of a series of Events with our sponsors, Leeds and Partners, who are working with a consortium of Legal and Financial Services businesses as well as the Health and University sectors from Leeds, to develop business opportunities. The Event was attended by the British Consul and members of British Council staff from Guangzhou. Ballet Master, Daniel de Andrade gave guests an insight into the story.
We had the cast sheet translated into Chinese for the audience
The performance went well with a great reaction from the capacity audience.There was plenty of cheering at the curtain call and most stayed for the 3 Acts which is a positive sign.
The venue looks pretty stunning by night
Early start tomorrow to get to the Airport for the flight to Guangzhou. Even worse for the Technicians who have to get the set out of the Xiamen venue (hopefully by 2am) and catch an even earlier flight than the rest of us to start the fit up over again tomorrow afternoon.