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.
Many people know our dancers but there are lots of people in our head quarters who are important to life at Northern Ballet and Karen Dixon, one of our Receptionists, is one of them. I had a quick chat with Karen to find out what life is like in our busy reception.