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China 2014

All photos and videos were originally posted to Northern Ballet Technical's Facebook page. Please wait while the photos and video are loaded from Facebook. Guangzhou. A city of huge buildings and huge potential. Today we achieved. The Guangzhou Opera House resonated to the sound of rapturous applause this evening. Now for time in the hotel bar to celebrate this achievement. Daytime off tomorrow to recover and then show call and get out. Sunday we travel to Beijing.
Despite the delays in starting the fit up yesterday, the Technicians did an excellent job and finished work last night ahead of schedule. The Guangzhou Opera House is rated as one of China’s top three theatres (The NCPA in Beijing is number one) and is regarded as the most high-tech and well facilitated performing arts centre in the South of China. The design by Architect, Zaha Hadid, is very modern and resembles a space ship or some such futuristic object.
A 9am departure for Xiamen Airport. Check in was a little chaotic and the Chinese idea of queuing is a little different to ours. Time for Coffee - Xiamen Airport's version of Starbucks maybe?
Midsummer train, designed by Duncan Hayler
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.
Northern Ballet has arrived in China to bring Shakespeare’s most enchanting tale to audiences with a tour of David Nixon’s critically acclaimed production A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Company is the first British cultural organisation to tour to China following the signing of a new cultural agreement between the UK and China by UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller and Chinese Minister for Culture, Minister Cai Wu.
Whilst the Technicians were busy putting the set together and focusing the lights, the dancers had the day off to explore Xiamen. The two highlights are the famous Buddhist Nanputuo Temple founded in the Tang Dynasty. It is a very steep climb to get to the top with 100s of uneven steps but we did discover a small number of dancers up there. And a few others on their way up! There is also a good view of the surrounding area.
The 11 hour and 15 minute flight from Amsterdam to Xiamen was pretty uneventful other than the fact that none of the requested special meals materialised. I have now seen the movie of The Great Gatsby and am looking forward to seeing our version again in the Autumn... The Immigration line was pretty long so it took quite a while to get everybody through and on the bus to our hotel. Check in was relatively painless and then it was time to count the 265,000 Yuan and distribute the per diems to everyone.
Banlam Theatre
The Banlam Theatre All looks good for tomorrows get in. The get in through one of the four get in doors they have.
Northern Ballet dancers in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Emma Kauldhar.
On 11 January the Technical team set off to China and today (12 January) the dancers and rest of the Northern Ballet crew departed. @RSWGillespie @northernballet off on tour...China 2014 here we go :) pic.twitter.com/7dNuy8nBHx

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