Class was not until 2.30 today so time for a lie in, some shopping or a bit of sightseeing. It was a beautiful sunny day at 20 degrees C - the last warm day we will see on this tour as we move north to Hangzhou or Beijing tomorrow.
The two main attractions listed for Guangzhou are the Temple of Six Banyan Trees and the Pearl River (cruise at night.)
This old Buddhist Temple was originally built around 537AD. It has been rebuilt many times and the current Lotus Pagoda (at the centre of the Temple complex) dates from 1900.
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.
China - 14 January - Dancers' Day off and a bit of sightseeing
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.
After nearly a year of planning, the tour to China is upon us. Tomorrow the Technicians set off followed by the rest of us on Sunday - 57 people in total plus a contingent from Leeds and Partners, Leeds City Council and sereval Leeds businesses. The planning for a tour of this scale is a major undertaking but we are now as well prepared as we can be.
Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive Mark Skipper responds to the report published yesterday that the Government spends £69 per head on arts and culture in London compared with £4.60 per person elsewhere in England.
“This disparity in the level of funding between London and the rest of the country needs to be redressed with a much fairer sharing of resources. You often hear talk about a north/south divide but actually what this report shows is that the divide is really between London and everywhere else.