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Relaxing Day in Hangzhou

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Today was relatively relaxed with some time spent working on our budgets for 2015/18 in preparation for our Arts Council funding application and a long walk around the West Lake in Hangzhou (well most of it). The lake is said to be the most beautiful of 36 lakes in China of that name and I am sure that in summer it could well be true. Even on a grey winter's day with the sun shining it has a great deal of charm and it was a pleasant way to spend a few hours. The Lake has a circumference of about 15km and tracing our route on Google Maps it came to about 12.5km.

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Guangzhou to Hangzhou (or Beijing)

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Today we split into two groups and I went with the small group of dancers to Hangzhou in advance of our pop-up performances on Tuesday.

7.30am was rather an early start after a late show the night before but the traffic to the airport was light as it was Sunday morning. Check in for the flight was relatively speedy and once we were through security we found a Starbucks.

Starbucks at Guangzhou Airport

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Guangzhou - 2nd Performance

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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.

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Technical Adventures in China

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All photos and videos were originally posted to Northern Ballet Technical's Facebook page.

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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.

First Performance in Guangzhou – 17 January

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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.

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Xiamen to Guangzhou

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A 9am departure for Xiamen Airport.

Coach to the Airport

Check in was a little chaotic and the Chinese idea of queuing is a little different to ours.

Check in Queue

Check in Continues

Time for Coffee - Xiamen Airport's version of Starbucks maybe?

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Xiamen – Performance 1 – 15 January

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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.

Banlam Theatre

China - 14 January - Dancers' Day off and a bit of sightseeing

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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.

Dancers at Temple

And a few others on their way up!

There is also a good view of the surrounding area.

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