Entertainment on the eve of the opening of the Tai Chi Center
Excerpts from the Diary:
Last night when we got back to the little hotel (just across the street from the new Tai Chi center) they had some spotlights in the street and an electronic musical keyboard.† About 200 people were standing around the carpeted area they had set up and standing on bicycles and trucks placed around the circle and there was extremely loud music and I thought they were doing karaoke.
Stephan wanted to stay but I went into the hotel room (I donít like crowds and such) but after about 20 minutes I thought I should really force myself to go out and experience this Chinese event.† I went out and after a short time of trying to find Stephan I HEARD where he was!† I heard the soft, familiar Chinese spoken over the microphone and it was Stephan!† He started singing a song, and the guy on the keyboard picked it up and accompanied.† I hadnít realized Stephan has a beautiful singing voice!† It was a haunting song, and I thought it was lovely.
I decided maybe to stay to see what else happened, and am so glad I did! They had entire families there, the inner circle was filled with little children.† They would occasionally ask people to come forward and perform and a few people did, including two charming young girls who stepped forward after Stephan sang.† They invited him to stay in the circle with them while they spoke in English, sweetly thanking their teacher for teaching them our language, and then sang a song in English.† There were also several performers who I think were professional entertainers Ė several women dressed in costumes dancing to Chinese rock and roll, and two guys who did comedy and skits and acrobatics with a variety of costumes (including a farmerís outfit, a Japanese soldier who was shot in the butt and groin to the delight of the audience, a woman, and a Red Army soldier). [Master Sun told us later that these performers came from out of town, so I believe they were part of the package of entertainment that came with the master of ceremonies / keyboard player.]
performers were fun to watch, but even more fun to watch was the audience.
Every performer dreams about having such a receptive audience!† There was a middle-aged man across from me
who had a big grin through most of the performance, and the kids were almost
rolling on the floor with laughter.† One
thing was interesting, though Ė there was good music with a rocking beat that
was hard to resist bouncing to but, except for the performing dancers, I was
the only one swinging to the beat.† I
Stephan sings a song;† crowds perch on the bed of a truck to get a view over the people surrounding the performers.
Music was provided by a keyboard in the back -- the keyboard player was the master of ceremonies and sometimes also sang.
Stephan and Master Sun enjoy the entertainment.†††††††††††††††††
The children sitting on the ground in front of me
could not contain their delight and amusement.
Two men danced, sang, did acrobatics and comedy skits in various costumes.
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