Last night the company were treated to a banquet in a restaurant near to our hotel hosted by Cui Yang (Young), our Promoter.
We presented Young with a framed photograph from A Midsummer Night's Dream as a memento of our 2014 tour.
At the end of the evening there was one group remaining.
Today was slightly more relaxed with time for a little sightseeing before work started. We took a trip to the Summer Palace in the north west of Beijing. A drive of around 45 minutes from the hotel. The palace is a former royal garden with more than 200 years of history made up of temples, lakes and walkways. The lake was only partially frozen today. In reality the weather on this trip to Beijing has been far warmer than on any previous visit.
The following are a selection of the many colourful sights in the gardens.
This is a theatre in the Garden of Virtue and Harmony. It looks as if performances still take place here in the summer.
This is the Glowing Clouds and Holyland Archway
In the Lake they have a splendid Marble Boat. It doesn't seem likely that it would move very far.
There are many artefacts and buddhas throughout the complex including this 24 handed Buddha
One of the highlights is the Tower of the Fragrance of the Buddha but as befits its importance there are many steps to climb to reach it.
Leisure time over and I went back to my budgets for 2015/18 whilst the dancers set off to the theatre at 1.45 for class at 2.30. Class was followed by a couple of hours of rehearsal for Cleopatra before our second performance in Beijing. Our Chair, Sir David Wootton has joined us for the last couple of days of the tour taking the opportunity to meet some business associates in Beijing. Company Manager, Lily Amy, showed him around the stage.
These are a few pictures from the wings showing the performance from a different perspective.
Happy 30th Birthday Toby Batley.
The performance was again well received and although I am disappointed that we are not achieving full houses, I am told that we have the best audiences of any western dance show that has been in the NCPA recently.