The Royal New Zealand Ballet cancelled the two performances of Giselle programmed for 20-21 April in Tianjin in China because it was too cold.
The Tianjin Grand Theatre is an enormous modern structure which opened last year, though according to the NZ Ballet they are having problems with the thermostat. A statement read,
Although it is a wonderful theatre, and the Royal New Zealand Ballet explored all options to ensure performances took place, we were still unable to perform because of the temperature in the theatre. This can cause serious injury to our dancers. We understand that the people of Tianjin were very supportive of our performances and we are very grateful for this. We do hope to return to share our artistry in the future.
According to The New Zealand Herald,
The company was then locked out of the theatre and was unable to retrieve its sets and costumes until the New Zealand embassy in Beijing intervened.
So obviously the theatre thought that there was no problem with the heating, though the company insisted that there was a mere 10°C. All rather embarrassing for the company’s 60th anniversary tour, and a diplomatic hiccup. Christopher Finlayson, the New Zealand Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage had said,
The Government is delighted to support the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s tour to China… and strengthen the relationship we have with China. Last year we celebrated the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries, and this tour will expose even more of our creative culture and help promote New Zealand’s commitment to active participation in the region.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.