Tonight was an interesting cultural experience as we went to a piano concert. David Lively a French-American had been invited by the French & American Embassies to come to Laos in recognition of the 450 year Vientiane celebration. It was our 1st time inside the huge Cultural centre in the middle of Vientiane. The building was a gift from the Chinese and you can only go inside when there is an event on.
|We sat just behind 4 rows of VIPs|
He presented a program of Gershwin, followed by Chopin and ending with an arrangement of traditional Lao music arranged for the piano. All the sections were excellent and he was very talented. Perhaps the best was actually the Laotian music.
It was interesting how different things went during the concert. The 7pm concert started off about 7:25 with people still wandering in looking for spare seats. The introduction in Lao was quite long maybe 3 to 4 minutes and then it was repeated in French, which also seemed rather long…and then it was done again in English. There were students taking photographs of the pianist with flashes going off in his face. He took it in his stride and after about 10 minutes they tailed off. There was a look of audience rustling and noise, and wandering in front of the stage to get to the toilet exit was no problem. There were a number of children in the audience and some of the local children struggled with the length of the concert. Whereas it seemed more of the European children were controlled by their parents with piercing glares and quiet words to keep them in line.
At the end of the program and after one encore a group of young ladies climbed the stage stairs and disappeared behind the curtain. It was obvious something was going to happen to thank the pianist, but after waiting a little time nothing happened. So he sat down and played another impromptu Gershwin piece. Another little wait and the the presentation was….three young ladies brought out three bouquets of flowers. Not idea why there was such a delay, but again he took it all in his stride.
A good night and well attended.