We reported earlier that the Royal New Zealand Ballet cancelled a performance in Tianjin, China, because the hall was too cold. Then they had trouble retrieving their kit after the Chinese locked the doors. Our China correspondent Rudolph Tang says the authorities in Tianjin hotly dispute the chill factor. Here is his report.
In a statement released yesterday, The Royal New Zealand Ballet
announced the cancellation of its Giselle at Tianjin Grand Theatre
originally scheduled April 20-21 due to lower room temperature. It is
particularly embarrassing and a slap in the face given the fact that
the Tianjin Grand Theatre is considered one of the most innovative and
advanced houses in China.
It is reported from the Chinese side that the Tianjin Grand Theatre
and its management company Propel have exhausted every option to raise
the room temperature by stuffing the theatre with industrial fan
heaters but unfortunately that didn’t work out. Full ticket refund or
replacement plan has been announced. An earlier report from The New
Zealand Herald suggested a lockout of the house, a rescue mission by
the Embassy and a room temperature of 10 degrees Celsius inside the
But according to sources close to the theatre, the room temperature
was raised to 18.1 degrees Celsius (according to the thermometer
placed by the RNZB) during the rehearsal when the heaters were on, way above the reported 10 degrees Celsius. The theatre was confident to maintain the room temperature at 20 degrees Celsius during the
performance as stated in the contract. “It is the arrogant and
snobbish attitude of the ballet and their translator that cost the
performance. They treated us like they were the allied troops that
burnt down the Garden of Gardens,” said a theatre manager who did not
want to be identified.
Tianjian is one of the stops of the RNZB’s two weeks China tour
including Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Guangzhou.