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Hangzhou Pop-up Performances

Published on Tuesday 21 January, 2014

Today we are giving 2 performances in support of Leeds and Partners' business development initiatives. Ballroom Number 3 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, although 2 floors below ground, is a great looking venue.

Ballroom Number Three

We had sent detailed specifications of our needs for the performance space and despite everything Leeds and Partners had done to ensure they were adhered to, inevitably there were challenges.

The stage was the correct size and there was enough height overhead for the lifts. Unfortunately the construction of the floor was a little bizarre and seemed to be made up of layers of wood and carpet (creating the requested sprung floor) but was covered with a top layer of laminate flooring which although was not too slippery had ridges variously throughout it. The process was also pretty laborious with hundreds of strips to be laid individually. We got there in the end and marked the danger spots for the dancers as best as we could.

Floor laying

Whilst this was being sorted, Yoko gave the dancers a warm-up.

Yoko Ichino Class


The rehearsal went well, sharing the stage with floor fitters.

Rehearsal around the floor fitters

Javier & Dreda

Toby & Martha

Martha & Toby

I went back in history, taking on the Stage Manager role for the event with main responsibility for starting the CD at the appropriate time (and track)

Mark Stage Manager

The rehearsal went well and the dancers did a great job and coped with the space with no complaints.

The guests for the event were lady Entrepreneurs from the area.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds and the Lady Mayoress have joined the delegation and the Lord Mayor welcomed the guests.

Lord Mayor

Followed by a presentation about Leeds and the City Region from Deborah Copeland from Leeds and Partners

Deborah Copeland

Lunch was served and we retired breifly in preparation for the performance. The performance was made up of four excerpts from The Great Gatsby, Cleopatra, two of the Three Preludes from I Got Rhythm as well as The Man I love from IGR.

David Nixon introduced the company and the dance pieces

David Nixon

The performance didn't get off to a good start, or in fact didn't start, as the sound system failed! We eventually got it going again after a pause and Javier and Dreda danced a pas de deux from The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby

David then introduced Three Preludes which started well but after a few seconds the sound system failed again. We discovered that the cable from the amplifier was actually two cables twisted together with tape rather than a proper connector.


After the false start the remainder of Three Preludes danced by Martha and Toby went well.

Three Preludes

Next we had The Man I Love danced by Javier and Dreda.

Man I Love

The final piece was Martha and Toby dancing the Cleopatra/Mark Anthony Pas de Deux


The dancers were brilliant and copped amazingly with the difficult floor and sound issues and the peformance was well recieved by the guests.

We finished with a photograph of the Lord Mayor and the dancers with guests.

Mayor meets Dancers


Then there was a well-earned rest for the dancers and after a couple of hours with David Nixon working on budgets, a brief walk to the Lake where there was another opportunity to watch the water show but with the sunset behind it this time.

Water Show at Sunset

The lake really does look stunning as the sun is setting. We would happilly stay in Hangzhou!

Lake at Sunset

We did the performance again at 6.30 for another group of guests and with a new sound cable but as always a new challenge with loud music coming from an event in the room next door. 

Again the performance was well received by the guests.

And so to dinner.

Early tomorrow we set off to join the rest of the company in Beijing.

Mark Skipper DL, Northern Ballet's Chief Executive. Photo Simon Lawson.
Chief Executive

The views expressed in blogs are those of the author and not necessarily of Northern Ballet.


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