On the road; one suitcase, one carry on. So what do we pack and how do we manage to squeeze it all in? Well, here in Riverdance we are forced to condense all our favorites and essentials into one small bag. So when we do it, we do it good. I have once again picked several cast and crew members to pour their hearts out and divulge their most personal item which they feel they cannot live without.
Riverdance Posts by Fiona McCabe
I have always been fascinated by cultures and a countries traditions, but in particular cuisine and food. So, upon agreeing to this tour I polished off my palate and decided to really absorb all the tastes of food that China had to offer.
Whether its walking down the street at night, waiting at the train station or simply standing outside a bank there is always someone eating something. Now as I mentioned in a previous blog, I am adventurous but I am no Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern. I wouldn’t last too long on the Travel Channel’s ‘Bizarre Foods’ however, I have put together a list of strange and bizarre foods that I have seen, touch, smelled and even heard, but taste, eh, not necessarily!
Browsing Panjiayuan Outdoor Antique market down in the South Chaoyang district and I was not prepared for the cold. Forced to duck in and out of jade and amber dealers’ booths to warm up, I braved the biting arctic winds. Although the weather was unwelcoming, the local dealers were not.
Distracted by Inner Mongolian sub zero temperatures, flights galore and simply trying to stay warm in our hotels, I have been somewhat slacking on my blogging and forgive me, but I am slipping back a fortnight and going to tell some tales of our adventure in Beijing.
Lying south on the bank of the fabulous Yellow River, Zhenzhou proudly took on the capital of the Henan Province in the late 14th Century BC. It is one of the Eight Great Ancient Capital Cities of China. It is as vibrant a city as any Beijing or Shanghai. Despite the cold sub zero temperatures I layered on the thermals and did my usual touristy ramble.
Performing on Christmas Day, we kept the spirits alive. Last minute trickery was being carried out by each of our secret santas.
The excitement grew when our wardrobe department appeared with mandatory tinsel and Santa hats for the finale performance. Our principal performers Callum Spencer and Siobhan Manson reminded me of a very special Mr. and Mrs. Claus sporting their red and white hats!
Dongguan presented an array of choice for the very famous Chinese hotpot. I recently discovered the Chinese translation means ‘fire pot’. It originates back to Mongolia over one thousand years ago and spread to south China during the Tang Dynasty. Featured here is Dan Dorrance impatiently waiting for his pork, beef and chicken to cook in the boiling chili oil! To our ignorance the waiters spoke no English. We were forced to make hideous farm animal impressions to specify our liking. Upon clucking like chicken and using arms as wings the picked up on our meaning. Literally. Chicken Licken on a plate. Head, feet, the works!
By Fiona McCabe, Irish Dance Troupe
I am happy to report so far that our happy crew , dancers and musicians have slipped very nicely into life in south China. We are not quite eating like the locals yet but we shall bide our time. After all ten weeks is a long time. On next week’s agenda: We will be getting into the festive spirit and begin our secret Santa craze. It’s room decorating, mistletoe scented candles and jingle bells ,em, Chinese- style!
This summer season for us full-time dancers saw a mix of work and play. Weddings, festivals and mandatory beach holidays all draw us away from our duties as dancers at some point during the height of the summer period. This brought back many past Riverdancer’s to grace the stage.
There was so much bubbling excitement amongst the Shannon Co. in Raleigh, NC. I was particularly excited as I performed the role of female principal alongside Jason O’ Neill on the first matinee of the weekend. What an honor and pleasure it is to represent the leading lady in such a spectacle.