The Nutcracker, with a twist

Last night we went to see the Xmas classic ballet, The Nutcracker. We invited the wonderful Mr. Pu and his wife MeiHao. Taking them to the ballet is the only way for us to return the pleasure of having them as friends, as Mr. Pu always refuses to let us pay for our dinners/outings with him. Previously, we had seen Notre-Dame de Paris and another ballet with them.Much to everyone’s surprise, The Nutcracker ballet turned into the Nutcracker Magic/Acrobat show. Very interesting but not at all what we expected. Especially since the pamphlet advertising the show displayed ballerinas.It seemed the director threw in every Chinese acrobatic trick in the book from plate spinning to contortionism. I kept looking for the motorcycles in the round metal sphere to appear.Having seen these tricks a few times already, I was not as much in awe of the performance as Mr.Pu and his wife. However, all the acrobatic tricks were one up on what we had already seen and the performance was a visual feast.The show was very impressive and the performers were true athletes. I can barely walk and hold hands with Liebling at the same time and here was a man holding a ballerina in the palm of his hand while she danced.I know I am too old to become a contortionist or a dancer but I left the show with a strong desire to learn how to juggle.

 

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The Son of ……

At the Chen Clan Academy, which I have been to 6 times this past year, they have displays of various traditional Chinese folk arts. One of my favourites is the wood carving above. It is made from one single piece of camphor wood and has 18 lobsters and 48 crabs.

The photo below of the name plate for the wood carving tells you all you need to know about the wood carving.  What I find particularly interesting is that the artist, after completing this fantastic piece of art, is not given credit as an amazing artist. He is said to be the son of “the famous wood carving artist Chen Shunqiang”.

Talk about living in the shadow of your father.

J’aurais voulu être un artiste

I have always wanted to be an artist. Unfortunately, I can’t even draw stickmen. One of the traditional Chinese folk arts that I like is the art of Lantern Making.On a previous trip to Shanghai, we met a Lantern Making artist and bought 2 of his works, a small fish and another even smaller one for our Christmas tree. I would have liked to have bought more but there is only so much one can bring back from a trip.Later in the year, the wonderful Mr. Pu took us to the Lantern Festival in Guangzhou. It was a beautiful night with many different lanterns lighting the park. The one below is of me with my Chinese Zodiac sign, the Rabbit.I think I will try my luck at this art when I get home. A few crickets, butterflies and frogs would look good around the yard. Certainly a hell of a lot better than those stupid LED solar powered garden lighting systems that seem to last about one summer.

 

 

Nanfeng Kiln, Foshan, slide show

Some photos of the ceramic artwork at the Nanfeng Kiln.

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Nanfeng Kiln, Foshan

Today in Guangzhou it was 23°C and overcast

A few days ago we visited the city of Foshan, which is famous in all of China for it’s ceramics industry. The Nanfeng kiln, also known as the Dragon kiln due to its shape (34.4 metres long), was built in 1506AD. Its fire has never gone out and it has been unceasingly producing since that date.

We had a wonderful time visiting shops and examining all the different pottery and figurines. We also met the artist whose specialty is models of large breasted, pleasantly plump women.

We did buy some nice products, the best being a pedestal sink. It will be set up in our garden to wash our hands and vegetables before entering the house. Getting it home took a 2 and a half hour combined bus and metro ride. We are turning Chinese after less than a year in country.

Buskers 1

Today in Guangzhou it was 22°C and overcast

In our part of town there are very few beggars. However, we do see some buskers and they are quite good. I always give them some cash and take a video and some pictures.

This busker happens to be blind and is playing a very popular traditional Chinese instrument. One of my male students is quite good at it and was planning on subsidizing his university studies in Australia by giving lessons. I asked him if he knew the group ACDC, to which he replied no, exactly the response I thought I would get.