Last year we went to a performance of the Beijing Acrobats at a large concert hall here in Wuhan. My son refused to go with us. We looked at the program for other concerts and performances for that season, and saw that they had just had the Russian Red Army Choir and dancers. I told my son about it and he said, "I would have actually wanted to go to that!" So this year, when we heard they were coming back to town, we bought tickets for all three of us. I was really happy because there aren't a lot of things that my son likes to do here in China, and this was one thing we could do and enjoy as a family.
This concert was really good! The dancers were amazing! They did typical Russian folk dances. These dancers are in unbelievably good condition! One guy could go from a squatting position, jump up in the air and touch his toes to his outstretched hands! And he did this about three times in a row! I don't know if I could get more than a few inches off the ground from a squatting position! Another guy laid on the ground, then raised up every part of his body except his feet and head, and then was able to sort of crab walk around in a circle. Everything had such a Russia flavor to it.
The choir was good too. They sang mostly in Russian, but did sing a couple of chinese songs, much to the delight of the audience. My son turned to me several times and said, "The name of this song is....." and would tell me the name. The program was in Chinese, and we don't read Chinese, so his comments helped. They also had a band accompanying them. I commented to my son that they had some interesting Russian instruments. He told me the one was a balalaika. His friend in America has one.
The concert hall is really beautiful. I took a couple of pictures, even though I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the performance. If you look at the picture, you can see an usher keeping an eagle eye out for people who aren't obeying the rules. Man he was good at his job. But he did allow me to take pictures of the room. I kept thinking how this pipe organ would be perfect if the Mormon Tabernacle choir came... :)
I'm really glad we went to this performance. It was kind of expensive, but we dont' often get a chance to do something that my son likes. The Chinese audience thouroughly enjoyed the performance. It was expensive for them too, but they do enjoy and appreciate these kinds of performances. I'm glad we went!
Here is a picture of the choir and dancers that I snagged off the internet.
Contrary to most impressions, Russia and many parts of the old Communist bloc have vibrant fine and performing arts. We were exposed to quite a lot of them during the good old days and our stuff was quite popular over there too.
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