COYO Postcards from China: Day 5

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is on tour in China, where they will perform concerts in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Ningbo.  WCLV has signed up three orchestra members as "field reporters" to send back pictures, video, audio, and text of their experiences. 

Day 5 update from Serena Shapard, Principal Second Violin

Written from the hotel in Shanghai

It is around eleven at night here in Shanghai, and we are settling down into our hotel for the first segment of a four-night stay here in one of the world's largest cities. 

We rose early this morning so that we could travel by high speed train to the next stop of our tour. The train stations in Tianjin and Shanghai, both sleek and modern with large, high-ceilinged corridors, are strikingly similar, but the cities the stations serve hardly resemble each other. While Tianjin has a similar feel from block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood, Shanghai is polarized between areas of less-than-perfect housing and shiny new designer stores. Sometimes, a glance out our bus window will frame an image of both these parts of the city in one place, a very visible reminder of the diversity of demographic the city holds. 

In the evening, we attended a performance by the Shanghai Acrobat Troupe, perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated sightseeing activities of our tour. The performance did not disappoint. From an acrobat holding the weight of another in a single hand to a man catching an urn on his shoulders and a group of motorcyclists performing a routine inside a large sphere, the performance (titled "Era: An Intersection of Time") left us abuzz with excitement and adrenaline. Although we won't be taking the same kind of risks in our performances here in China, the acrobats' show reinforced how an engaging performance, regardless of whether stunts or incredible musicality captivate an audience's attention, can be energizing for those that attend. 

Tomorrow, we will begin our day with sightseeing around the city before an afternoon of preparation for the evening's third concert of our tour. Goodnight from Shanghai, and we'll send updates again very soon! 

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