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First Performance Day in Beijing

Published on Thursday 23 January, 2014

The dinner at Raffles last night was excellent. This is the most original take on a Greek Salad I have ever come across.

Greek Salad!

The Qianmen Jianguo Hotel is quite traditional in its decor, including the Lan Fang Restaurant where we have breakfast.

Lan Fang Restaurant

A reasonably leisurely start to the day with the coach to the theatre not departing until 11am. A relatively short distance but still too far to walk. The Stage Door is pretty impressive.

NCPA Stage Door

Class was at 12pm and taught by Yoko.

Yoko teaching class

The class took place in a studio several floors below ground and probably a half mile walk to get there!!


The backstage area of the venue is vast and pretty easy to get lost. If you look hard enough you will find Wardrobe and you might be surprised to know that we still use a twin-tub to wash the costumes. We tend to stockpile them when we can find them as manufacture of them is virtually non-existent these days.

The trusty Twin Tub

The National Centre for the Performing Arts is China's top Performing Arts Centre and is a hugely impressive venue. There are four main performance spaces within the giant dome including the Opera Theatre where we are performing with a maximum capacity of 2398.

Auditorium of Opera Theatre at NCPA

There is also a Concert Hall with 2019 seats, a drama theatre with 1035 seats, a muti-functional space with 556 seats and they also boast a "fifth space" which is any of the myriad of other spaces in the building including the underwater walkway.

The following images give a flavour of the vastness of the complex.

Foyer of NCPA

Opera and Theatre

More foyer of NCPA

NCPA Foyer from above

We spotted a group of dancers in the foyer.

Dancers in NCPA Foyer

The audience entrance is equally impressive

Entrance to NCPA

The Technicians have done another excellent job ensuring that the stage was ready for the Technical Rehearsal which started promptly at 2.15pm. Now we are on our third venue all went smoothly and the rehearsal was completed ahead of time.

This evening we had the last of our functions with Leeds and Partners and again the event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Leeds. David introduced A Midsummer Night's Dream to the 100 assembled guests in the Western Restaurant at the Top of the building

Lord Mayor and Mark

The company gave another excellent performance which was well received by the audience although we didn't achieve the capacity of 2398 - probably just over 1000 and I'm told that this is a good result.

Tonight's cast sheet.

140123 Cast List

Tonight our Promoter, Young, is taking the company for dinner at a restaurant close to the hotel and I will include some pictures tomorrow.

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.