Walking While Eating Noodles
Walking While Eating Noodles

Around Yichang Blog

This blog adds a little depth to some of the pictures relating to Yichang scenery and life.

International Show at Yiling Square--September 2013

I would be lying if I said that I never wondered what it would be like if I was a professional photographer. I really enjoy what photography brings to my life. I think differently when I have a camera in hand. I move slower. I think about the light. I try to anticipate what is about to happen. I feel busy. 

Attending a dance performance, I pay attention to the dancers' movements and notice details like the way dancers often let their eyelids rest heavily as they connect with the music. Sometimes what is so wonderful about dance happens so fast that the moment gets lost in the movement. A camera in hand stops me from the impulse of saying, "Wow, did you see that?"  The camera not only keeps me busy but also reminds me of what I saw, sometimes much later, and shows me details I might have totally missed. As I edit down the batch and begin my workflow, I look for true gems that I want to share with friends.  

 

  

So I was very fortunate to have been invited to attend an international dance show at Yichang's public square by my student's parents. The ticket price was incredibly high and the crowds a little off-putting. But the ticket was free for me and I got to sit in the first row, which was still considerably far from the stage. 

The afternoon lighting was perfect. I had my 18-135mm lens. I had a great seat. I felt really lucky.

There were singers and dancers from Spain, Ukraine, Austria, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Mongolia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, West Africa, Australia, USA, and of course China.

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It was in early September 2013. I took over 700 shots. By the time I deleted the the hopeless ones, I was left with over 400. From those 400, I left them alone in a folder for whenever I had time to come back to them. Well, now is that later.

Combing through the 400 photos, 118 of them were photos that I feel are strong. Below is a collection of the very best of that batch.

Enjoy!

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I wish I didn't have to remain seated. I missed a lot of shots simply because I couldn't get the right angle. In some cases part of the sound equipment on the stage blocked my shot. Getting up could have meant my seat being taken by someone else who would not hesitate to seize on the opportunity to take it.

The lighting was perfect as the audience watched on with the sun mostly at our backs.



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In one respect, seeing all of these performers from so many different counties seemed out of place in little Yichang. But dance is an international language. Movement doesn't always translates into meaning but anyone, despite where they have from, can watch and form a better understanding of different people and cultures. 

I was least impressed with the Americans who convulsed to big band swing music. Dressed in pinstriped suites and poodle skirts, their efforts were rewarded with loud cheers from the Chinese audience. I could not disagee more. As my bored gaze drifted to the crowd, I couldn't help but marvel at how well the lawn is kept at Yiling Square.



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If I were to pick a favorite performance, there is no question which one I loved the most.

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The group from Trinidad and Tobago hypnotized us with the soothing seaside sounds of the steel drum. The musicians were painting the sky with a pastel sunset as the dancers let the light shimmer and bounce from their bangles.

I let my camera rest on my lap. The audience's pleasure was audible and seemed to be a natural extension of the sound of the music reminding me why live music performances, when they are great, are electrifyingly good.

I had what us expats call an Out-of-China-Experience.



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One of the more charming displays during the show occurred when the Mexican singer managed to entice a Chinese dancer sitting by the stage. We all watched, and connecting with them, as she stepped out of the style that her costume suggests.  


We cheered and wanted to be them and realize we weren't and were happy anyway.