Monday, September 11, 2017

Ann Marie DeAngelo - An American in LanQi

LANQI:  Re-choreographing a New Musical

A last minute call and quick decision landed me on my way to Beijing in the smoldering hot month of July 2017, to re-stage choreography for a new musical, Xanadu: Dream City. I had worked on the show earlier in the year and had thought one of my assistants would have been able to do the job. But, all were contacted too late. On Hainan Airlines I upgraded and was happy to get a good nights sleep….so I thought. A woman named Han met me at the airport and escorted me to The Courtyard—the creative playground where we had put the show together before. She informed me that my flight to Xilinhot, Inner Mongolia was at 8 p.m. and I wondered why the span of time. Later to learn that Muge could have gotten me a 6 a.m. flight...oh well.

I sent a text to Don Frantz (the New York producer) and he invited me to his place, thinking better to spend a day in central Beijing than out in the country at The Courtyard. Han escorted me and we spent the day visiting the Art District there (photos above).  

Han later dropped me off at the airport, checking in about 6 p.m. That little bit of sleep on the plane did not prepare me for what was to come….a delayed flight leaving at 1 a.m.—arriving at 2 p.m.—getting to the hotel by 2:30— to sleep by 3 a.m. for a 5:30 wake up to leave for a 3-hour ride to LanQi at 6 a.m.— in order to make morning rehearsals.

I was trying to figure out what day it was….I left the US on Monday night and would arrive at rehearsals in LanQi on Thursday morning!  Welcome to a rocky ride….

Our rehearsal in the Lobby of The Courtyard (video):
The Lobby

Mr. Ge (Chinese Executive Producer) watching rehearsals...

(left) Me with young Dancers from local Mongolian Song Dance Company in LanQi

Favorite Foods:  milk cheese, whipped yogurt with fried rice, flavored peanuts:

Below: Buying Buddha beads with Kirby Ward   

More images from the experience:
Horse head fiddle


Wild horses on grasslands that looked like miles of mowed lawn.

Xanadu site, where the original city Kublai Kahn created was located

Taking this rock from the sacred grasslands spot possibly got us in trouble....maybe....

Shortly after as we stared to drive down the grasslands hill, grungy men who we at first thought were tourists paying for a horse ride on the grasslands....turned out to be bandits. They approached us on horseback...stopping our car and surrounding our car with more of them....not letting us drive down the hill.  A tedious 2 hours began....

Afterwards, with the brave Mongolian driver who tried for 2 hours to befriend them, negotiate with them for money they wanted. Finally with lack of progress, I made a call to our producer who in turn got an official to get them to leave. We survived!

Bei Zi Miao (The Prince Temple)

An outdoor theater in east Mongolia

Here's an image of me inside the theater being with Water (our production manager and translator).

The theater in LanQi with great sky!

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