Last night we went to the opening show of the Asia-Pacific Youth Arts Festival (AYAF) which was held in front of a large man-made waterfall at OCT East in Shenzhen. It was organised by China Central Television and they did a magnificent job of staging the open-air concert given that it was windy and showering. We sat through most of the concert with umbrellas over our knees to keep at least the lower parts of our bodies dry. We couldn’t use the umbrellas above our heads otherwise that would block the view of the people behind us.
The rain made the stage wet, and a few times various artists – especially the acrobats and kung fu artists – slipped on the stage, but fortunately there were no serious injuries. They had a few ‘stars’ like Joey Yung from Hong Kong, Stephanie Sun from Singapore, and performances that ranged from cultural dances by ethnic Koreans living in the northeast of China, to Japanese rap singers and a hard Russian rock band. There was certainly a lot of variety and talent on display throughout the two-hour concert. I particularly liked the China Disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe which performed their ‘dance of the thousand hands’ which I had seen last year in Beijing. The dancers are deaf and take their cues from the hand movements of two instructors positioned on either side of the stage. The elegance and grace of the dancers is just incredible knowing that they can’t hear the music. It is a very moving experience to watch them.
Here are some pictures from the concert: