Chiné!

Ah, the longest I’ve gone without blogging since I started this engine roaring and brought you all on board so many months ago. Apologies! But, I know you must understand because less blogging = more progress around Amber Lane. And that’s what it’s all about in the end, right?

Though, ironically… less blogging —> more progress —> more to blog about —> less progress —> less to blog about. A complicated cycle?

Fortunately, at this point I’ll never catch up. So there’s always a story to tell. 🙂

In addition to all the progress around the Lane, I’ve been on a couple of traveling adventures over the last couple of months – and welcomed quite a few travelers to our place. Lots to tell!

First up: a trip to San Francisco in early September to reconnect with ZiRu Dance. Philein and I co-curated the first Silicon Valley Dance Festival in late September at Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center. I visited the company a few weeks before the show to help them prep the work for the stage. It was great to be back in the studio – and remember I DO know what I’m talking about occasionally… just not in the construction world. 😉

(All San Francisco photos by Keith Weng.)

Ziru dance rehearsal 9/8/2016 at City Dance SF

Coaching two of my dearest friends – Miche and Tunji – on their beautiful duet. What a joy to be with these creative spirits again!

The week was spent – as all my time with ZiRu Dance is spent – in an intense rush… a jumbled assortment of rehearsals, admin/production meetings, meals with old friends, late night soul baring, family-style Chinese dinners, and never enough time!!

Such a wonderful reunion with my ZiRu Family.

Ziru rehearsal 10 Sep 2016, Philein Wang

Love you guys. Wish I could split in 2, 1 with you and 1 with Amber Lane!

But, really, San Francisco was just an elegant platform for Philein to launch her BIGGER idea on me —> a trip to China in October! After some careful consideration (of the foods and culture I desparately miss, some quick math about pros and cons – mostly pros), I was totally on board for this one! It’s been 2 1/2 years since I’ve been in China and I dearly miss it. If ZiRu Dance is best described as a jumble of intensity, then I’m not even sure how to begin to describe China. But the two go hand in jumbled hand, 2 peas in an intensity energetic pod.

Let’s go!

We (Philein, Eli and I) traveled to China to do market research for a new initiative we are launching through ZiRu Dance – training camp opportunities for Chinese students to learn about American dance styles, conversational English, and American culture / education. We knew a lot going in – but had a LOT of questions to move forward. It was an intense 10 days of meetings, taxi rides, presentations, team discussion for “changes of direction,” more meetings, train rides, and more meetings! Did I mention I don’t speak Mandarin?

10 days went by in a blur – frantic energy in so many directions.

This wasn’t a trip for sight-seeing or shopping. No souveniers. No trips to famous sites. Fortunately, I’ve had those China experiences before. No, this was a trip for Western style hotels and A-M-A-Z-I-N-G breakfasts. Did I mention the breakfasts?!

What a trip, to say the least…

—-

Some final thoughts, jotted down as I was losing my mind my last night in the country:

China – and my time here – never cease to amaze me.

A constant surge of fevered energy… kept in steady balance by the magnet of its chaotic nature… reliable only in its ability to keep changing. Expectations are continually surpassed and dashed all in the same moment.

I find myself surrounded by mass consumerism with no time to shop. No time to even stop to breathe the polluted air. And yet / Because of this —> I will continue to return.

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Early morning light as I left Beijing.

Until next time, China.

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