“Bring An Extra Bag!” Choreographer Ma Cong’s Tips for Touring in China
May 19th, 2015
Last week, we spoke to Ma Cong about revisiting his 2014 work for Richmond Ballet, Lift The Fallen (which premiered almost exactly a year ago) as our professional company prepared to pack their bags for four-city spin around China starting. But not only is Ma one of our favorite choreographers here at Richmond Ballet, he’s also been giving us the inside scoop about traveling to China, his home country. There’s nothing better than having a local guide!
Richmond Ballet (RB): Will you be going to China with Richmond Ballet, and what are you most looking forward to in accompany the group to China?
Ma Cong (MC): Yes, I am going to see Richmond Ballet while they travel in China. I am very happy that Richmond Ballet has really become this cultural ambassador. To actually go to Beijing, the capital of China to perform in the National Theatre – that’s a huge deal – and to have been so supported by the Chinese Embassy here in the US, I’m just so excited for the organization. It will be amazing exposure internationally.
And second, for myself, I am really looking forward to my piece being shown on stage in my homeland. Everybody has been asking when they can see it because they have heard about Richmond Ballet coming over and brining my piece. A lot of people actually, my teachers and my dancer friends…so yeah, I’m a little nervous, but at the same time, I really shouldn’t be, because overall, I am just really excited.
RB: What’s the most important thing the company should pack when preparing their luggage for China?
MC: What I always tell people, when they go to China, is to bring an extra bag, and to leave a lot of space because you are going to be buying a lot of stuff! Of course the dancers know what they need for their performances, but yes, they should bring extra bags. Just know that you’re going to be purchasing a lot of interesting things from China, because you can find a lot of great, reasonably-priced items over there.
RB: What’s the most important Chinese phrase the company should learn before landing in Beijing?
Ni Hao– “Hello”
Ni Hao Ma– “How Are you?”
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