A week later, it is still hard to believe that last Saturday’s event in the Botanics was such a wonderful experience for audience and performers alike. If the morning forecast was bad the evening weather was much worse. This was no midsummer magic. Yet people queued patiently in the downpour to get into the Temperate Palmhouse for the opening improvisation between FOUND, Shanghai Jazz and Korphai, and then out again (maybe a little reluctantly) to follow a watery trail to the Chinese Hillside.
On the Chinese Hillside, Chang Zhang danced in the rain while the audience of at least 200 people filed past smiling beneath umbrellas. On the bridge above, Bob Lowey’s Taichi Action group turned with one easy fluid movement as sounds of flute and cello floated up from the pond below.
Earlier in the day, performers had practised here in sunshine under the direction of Kimho Ip but he left them free to improvise. “I wanted to create the kind of thing you see in a Chinese park.”
Then he laughs because Wind and Bamboo has produced an unexpected intercultural discovery. “You know, all the performers agreed with me. If this had been happening in Taipei or Hong Kong as soon as it started to rain all the audience would have gone home and the musicians and dancers would have been moaning and complaining. But here, we all stayed and everyone did their best, including the audience, and we all had a wonderful experience.”