Monday, 28 April 2008


Earlier this evening, the Ballet de l'Opera national de Paris danced a 'Paquita' for a predominantly Chinese crowd at the Beijing National Theatre for Performing Arts (The Egg). Quite astonishingly (to me) they played with the narrative on two notable occasions.

They were spectacular, fluid, and yet tight when it counted. Gutsy in a word.

At the end of the first act through a triangle shaped formation, the dancers hopped violently backwards and receeding back into the stage, with peaked caps, bathed in the deepest hues of revolutionary red, and saluting violently to the audience whose spontaneous applause they won through sheer bravery given the context of the protests by China against the French in the last few days that is bordering on rage and insanity.

For a brief few seconds, it was as if the French were saying to the overwhelmingly Beijing intellectual-elite audience plus a few oiks myself, "is this what you want?", "is this how you want France to be?", "jumping up and down every time China starts to wave a stick?" ...."haven't you, you of all people, had enough abuse of power?"

It was the most creative thing I have ever seen and I will never forget it.


1 comment:

  1. You culture vulture you :)

    Out of interest, did the people clap when they were supposed to or did they wait till someone else started?

    I ask because of a situation I experieinced a while back which I found amazing ...

    ... and just want to see if you experieinced the same thing.