Sunday, September 9, 2012


A day out in Shanghai, ferried around in the Range Rover by our trusty driver, Charles. In the end we spent most of the time in the Shanghai Museum, taking in 4,000 years of Chinese sculpture, painting, jade and – best of all – its exquisite collection of bronze-ware.
Then, on to the old quarter of Yu Yuan, heavily touristified but still a pleasant hour or so’s stroll. We ate dumplings and bought signature seals (or ‘chops’) for Catherine, Alyssa and Naomi. The first attempt at Catherine’s name resulted in characters which somehow transcribed as ‘Moist Sven’. Tempting, but we got them to come up with something a bit more feminine & poetic.
Last night in Shanghai – very enjoyably spent at Rambert Dance Company’s quadrouple bill at the impressive Oriental Arts Centre. We’d been worried about ticket sales but actually it was very well attended, maybe 1,000 people, which is pretty damned good for contemporary dance. Unusually there were two intervals, to cope with the set changes. In the first one Artistic Director Mark Baldwin stood in front of the curtain and gave a witty introduction to Rambert, as well as bringing on a couple of dancers to show some moves. I’m not sure I’ve seen this done before, but it was an inspired move – establishing a warm rapport with the audience. And it was nice to see our very own Ophelia in the spotlight too, interpreting proceedings. The giant wasps which hung from the flys in the last piece were cool too.

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