China’s trip out to Ibiza – Olympics 2008

September 25th, 2007 - 2:22 am Posted in china 2008, Jin Shan, Li Lin, Lui Shan, olympics, santa eulalia, santa eulario, Sha Man, Wang Hao, Wei Qiaolin, Wu Shuai, Yu Shuai, Yue Yangding, Zhan Yuanchun, Zhang Ai, Zhang Yue, Zhao Hanyang | Comments (0)

Tonight saw the opening of the new conference centre in Santa Eulalia, with a show provided by the Chinese delegation currently touring the globe promoting next year’s 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

An honour indeed for tiny Santa Eulalia and, in fact, the most important night in local cultural history – full stop. The venue’s not completely finished yet. They’d laid out a red carpet up the impressive entrance ramp, but it was obvious that beneath that lay planks for the first half.

Similarly, it was clear that they’ve not yet made their mind up about the interior wall covering. We had to settle for painted concrete with ready-prepared holes for the facing boards. Unfortunately, even booking eighty hotel rooms for their eminent visitors had been overlooked in the organizational rush to get the conference centre ready in time for this prestigious gig.

However, the impressive auditorium had been finished. The problem was gaining access to it. We were a few minutes late, we’d never been there before – this was the opening night! – OK?

The place was mobbed and nobody else was getting in, so they pointed us in the direction of a huge projector screen in the outside exhibition area. This had been erected for the overflow, who now numbered 200 or so.

We finally got in after doing the “we’re press”… just in time to catch the introductory exchange of pleasantries and presents (in Mandarin and Spanish), accompanied by long diatribes about the attributes and accolades deserved for each other’s countries, by the newly elected mayor of Santa Eulalia and the head of the Chinese delegation.
china vists ibiza
(click for larger image)

Then the show began and it soon became obvious that we were watching the finest examples of Chinese musical achievement and performance art, as they transported us into the finer side of modern Chinese culture.

An initial group of spectacular dancers, followed by a trio playing traditional Chinese instruments – that could only vaguely be compared to the violin or cello and a guitar, albeit an oversized slide version, and we were off…

The majority of the audience were transfixed and confused. Our image of China was being transformed as we enjoyed and absorbed this glimpse into their culture.

A beautiful young opera singer and some traditional Chinese instruments dispensing remarkable sounds, interspersed with beautiful contortionists of ballerinas and extraordinarily gymnastic dancing warriors and we were captivated.

I imagine our visitors eyes have been opened a bit too, as they scoured the town for a room and read in the local papers that hotel occupancy rates are at record levels for this time of the year.

They’ll never forget Ibiza… but next time they come we’ll have the hang of the new P.A. system?

Consequently, we’ll shortly be releasing a publication entitled ‘Teach yourself Mandarin’ and booking flights to Beijing for the 2008 Olympics and a bit more of their culture.

See you there?

As ever, click on any of the images for larger versions:

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Above; Zhao Hanyang, Zhan Yuanchun, Yue Yangding
Sha Man
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Lui Shan
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Li Lin Wei Qiaolin
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Zhao Hanyang Yu Shuai, Wang Hao
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Yu Shuai, Wang Hao
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Yu Shuai, Wang Hao
Yue Yangding
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Zhang Yue
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Zhang Yue
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Wu Shuai
 
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