Tapestry in China
No problems? Tapestry Dance Company continues to learn The Chinese Way whileabroad
Tapestry Dance Company is currently on a month-long tour in China, performing their renowned tap show The Souls of Our Feet. The company is set to perform on October 18 at the International Arts Festival in Shanghai.Founder and Artistic Director Acia Gray has provided CultureMap with another exclusive report from the trip, detailing the company's experiences and adjustments to The Chinese Way.
As mentioned in my initial report, our first week here in Shanghai was a challenge, to say the least. After a whirlwind start, the tour has taken a little break. We needed the time to acclimate to The Chinese Way.
Masumi, our incredible drummer, actually met a dance group from Japan who was also performing here at the Shanghai People's Theatre, where we debuted. It wasn't surprising that they ran into the same technical difficulties we did. It seems it's very standard to scramble, wait until the last minute and ignore or "make do" with technical riders.
We are slowly discovering it truly is just The Chinese Way. The term "no problem,” which we do hear a lot, has a whole different definition here. Actually, if they were to take a nice pause in the middle of those two words, “no” and “problem,” we probably would have figured out its actual meaning a long time ago.
Today we’re on our way to Taicang to perform in a beautiful new theater. Our unexpected news of the day: During a lighting check, we learned that the deck evidently has half-inch gaps between the boards due to trap doors and risers. We'll see how the ladies do in high-heeled tap shoes... or how we'll make that happen. Prayer and a moment of silence is welcome now.
Part of our daily adventure in China includes a yoga class led by our Tour Wellness Coordinator, Annick Vidal, a beloved Ashtanga & Flow teacher at Yoga Yoga Westgate.
In Shanghai, our yoga locations included practicing on stage during tech rehearsals as well as a quaint side room in the Celebrity Fitness Club. Sounds cool right? Not really. The club actually sports a large swimming pool, a large gym, additional workout rooms and this little cubby that has become our Tapestry yoga home away from home.
What we’ve encountered during our daily yoga routine:
- A meowing cat
- Smokers who come and go
- Chinese newscasts blaring in the background
- The wafting smell of a toilet from the neighboring bathrooms
Our daily regimen in Shanghai includes Annick traveling back and forth to close the bathroom doors between the members' private visits.
Believe it or not, we really are having a good time. It's a beautiful place and intriguing place and we actually discovered some really cool and hip restaurants and hidden corners in our Zhaojiabang neighborhood. But we're also at the two-week mark where some (if not most) are missing their loved ones.