Troupe Tabu goes to China!
Tabu was recently invited to dance in the Beijing International
Cultural Dance Festival 2000. The event took place at the
end of September. I am Tabu's troupe director, Nanna Candelaria,
and here is the story:
It began back in June 2000 when we had the honor of dancing in this year's
Ethnic Dance Festival. It should be noted that somewhere between passing the
audition and performing, it was announced that three out of four dancers in
the group (not including myself) were pregnant.
It seemed the festival came about a week short of costumes no longer fitting
our three mothers-to-be. It all went very smoothly though, thanks to hours
and hours of practice. We were happy to work with musicians Mimi Spencer, Mary
Ellen Donald and Terry Holgate. As usual, their accompaniment was clear, reliable
and backed with energy.
the festival ended it was time to consider recruiting more
troupe members. Though two out of the three pregnant troupees
are determined to dance both pre- and post-birth, I realized
there would be a rather large void in the troupe for an undetermined
period of time. Four of my students were invited to join,
and all seemed happy to accept. We soon had our first official
meeting and rehearsal.
It was on the day of our second rehearsal together that I received a call from
David Pang. He is a Chinese radio broadcaster and manager for a group of Chinese
dragon dancers who performed with us on the same weekend of the Ethnic Dance
Festival. He was calling to invite my troupe to dance in China!
I discovered that I would be dealing with Mr. Zhi Wei Huang, the organizer
of the Beijing International Cultural Festival. Apparently I'm a hard person
to find, because it took them about a week to obtain my telephone number. By
the time they did find me, it was so urgent that I met with Mr. Huang that
It became clear my troupe members and I needed to make a decision almost immediately.
Conveniently enough, it was a rehearsal night, and I sat twitching in my chair
waiting for everyone to arrive so I could make the announcement to all. After
doing so, there were no outbursts or expressions of extreme excitement. Instead,
there was more of a stunned silence. This sentiment pervaded the evening when
we all met Mr. Huang. He spent the evening showing us brochures, photos, documents
and proof that we were not going to be kidnapped and shipped off to a foreign
A tone of extreme urgency was now set for the troupe. We began the process
of getting visas, passports, vaccines, learning choreographs and making four
new costumes. We extended our rehearsals in both days and hours, and the sewing
sessions were long and grueling.
We had an exciting itinerary to look forward to. First, we were to do a theater
performance for up to 2500 people. Our audience would include diplomats, the
media, and Beijing residents. We would be presented along with several other
cultural dance groups from around the world.
We were also scheduled to perform in the countryside and take part in a parade.
We planned to stay for eleven days and have the opportunity to tour the Great
Wall, the Forbidden City, and see other sights on our own time.
Before the festival, I hadn't mentioned to Mr. Huang that not all of us were
the original group of dancers. Sadly, the three pregnant troupe members were
not allowed to fly. The new girls are fast learners though; and, like it or
not, they worked hard to make sure the performance was a success.
'Ready for more?
Go to the next article: A
Metmorphosis Before My Eyes by Sharon/Mahirimah
How about this one:I
am Neferteri by Ann Lucas
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