Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jackie Chan meets Richard Clayderman

Back to glitz and glamour. This evening I was invited to a spectacular event at the Beizhan Theatre to celebrate the rather mundane occasion of the merging of two districts, Xicheng and Xuanwu, west of the Forbidden City - the equivalent of say Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea becoming one big borough. I was expecting a reception with some worthy speeches, but it turned out to be a 2hr show in the Spring Show style that China does every new year with equal amounts of kitsch and panache.

We had... Jackie Chan kicking it off; scores of dancing children marshalled by the equivalent of John Noakes and Valerie Singleton; Li Guyi, China's first pop star, looking pretty good for her 60+ years; a full-on snippet of Chinese opera; endorsements from famous Xicheng residents (eg. film director Chen Kaige), "Nesum Dorma" sung by a student of Pavarotti; acrobats tossing & spinning those glorified yoyo things (Diablos?); stories about Xicheng's glorious heritage; the "Beijing Welcomes You" song from the Olympics; and - yes - Richard Clayderman performing with the leggy, conservatoire-trained, made-in-marketing-heaven, 12 Girls Band who play traditional Chinese instruments in knee-high boots. Clayderman, one of the first western musicians to perform and make it big in China, still has that haircut and smiles that smile.
So why was I invited? Buried somewhere in the full-on, tightly choregraphed spectacular, was a bit about a London-Beijing Olympics painting competition.


  1. I don't remember, did you have Clayderman on your "C" list?

  2. Damn! I knew I was forgetting someone...