One thing I love about Chengdu are the nightly social gatherings around music and dancing and other performances. All over town groups of families, children, older people come together to watch dancers and singers.
The vocal performances are…well not often pleasant on the ear, (think nightmare at the opera?) but the sheer crowds that gather are somehow inspiring.
I love seeing the crowds and the kids and the old people. A few blocks from our house there is a large square where literally hundreds of retirees come out at night to dance.
The square is carefully divided between the synchronized fan dancers (men and women who do carefully choreographed dances to traditional Chinese songs) and the couples, dancing to Western waltzes and foxtrots and the like-dances you can imagine they enjoyed in their youth and are relieved to be able to dance again and grateful to be dancing still. Sometimes there is even some salsa.
I love it. I love the quiet energy and the devotion the dancers and singers have to their craft. I love the love you see between the old couples, dancing and swaying to the music as if those moments are the most important of the entire day.
Chris has promised to take me dancing down on the square some night soon so hopefully get some pictures when we go. But until then, imagine a city full of gatherings like the one above.
It’s a beautiful thing.