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NBA 2009 CHINA GAME IN BEIJING “HALFTIME PRODUCTION”
Posted on Oct 22
Working in CHINA for the NBA is so rewarding. The NBA requested ME to Choreograph the Halftime Production of the NBA 2009 CHINA GAME in BEIJING. This Halftime featured the twenty semifinalist of “Dance Passion.” Performing in the Halftime Beijing Game is part of their winning prize package. This past summer I worked with these twenty contestants, therefore I knew their talent and what I could accomplish with them. It was so exciting to have the opportunity to work with Katharine Lentini, the director for the Beijing Game. Having two days to put this together was challenging, lots of hard work, but what a pleasurable experience.
My direct flight to Beijing was completely full (not one seat was empty), and even though I was able to get some rest, I still felt like I needed more rest. The weather in Beijing was nice so that helped me cope with my busy schedule. Immediately upon my arrival, I was whisked off to the practice facility to begin working on the upcoming event.
The twenty eager dancers were awaiting my arrival and so happy to get started on their exciting experience of a lifetime. After several hours of practice, we finally retired for the evening. Day one was over, but day two was only a few hours away.
EARLY the next morning consisted of teaching, reviewing, and working on formations. By the afternoon we were cleaning up the formations, and the show was coming together and looking good. That evening we finished up with a very late night on court rehearsal, working on spacing, entrances, and exits, and also running through the entire show with lights and sound. What a great feeling it was to see how everything was falling into place. This was the only time the dancers were able to practice on the court, so we had to take advantage of the time. This was also so exciting for the girls, because this was the first time they had stepped foot on an NBA Arena. Their wide eyes, their adrenalin rush, and their high emotions were such a sight to see. I felt a need to inform them that the next day this arena would be loud and filled with much excitement, but the main thing for them was to focus and most important enjoy the moment.
Day two was ending and we did not anticipate what happen next. We were notified that the costumes for the girls did not arrive and would not be arriving before the show, so “Operation Find A Costume” began. Our director, Katharine Lentini, the entire NBA China Events Crew, and I diligently worked together on this situation. We found a supplier that had black shorts for all the girls, we used the sparkle tanks from a previous show taping, and we were able to alter the NBA Beijing Game Official T-Shirt into a “Striking Dance Top.”
Creating / Making Costumes instead of SLEEPING, well I guess THAT'S SHOW BIZ! A great look was created for the girls to show their stuff the following day for the Halftime Production.
Finally it was the Big Day for the DENVER NUGGETS and the INDIANA PACERS to tip off at the Wukesong Arena. We arrived at the Beijing Wukesong Basketball Arena, and crowds were lined up waiting to enter.
This event marked the opening of the refurbished Wukesong Basketball Arena formerly known as the Beijing Olympic Basketball Arena. This was the NBA's eighth preseason game played in Greater China and the third game played in Beijing bringing NBA excitement of live basketball to Fans in China. NBA CARES also conducts community events in Beijing designed to positively impact the city and its youth. Many special guests are brought in from the US to attend this event. Such a huge event for Beijing and the NBA.
I could feel the exhilaration before the game started. Keeping a close watch on my girls and making sure the costumes fit was my priority. Observing that the girls were nervous, I had them focus on their performance by reviewing the dances in the locker room. I think I was just as nervous as the girls. Waiting in the tunnel with the girls brought my thoughts to CHICAGO and the LUVABULLS, oh how I MISS YOU ALL, and just counting the days until I return to cheer with you for our BULLS!! Each girl was announced as they lined up on the baseline. I proceeded to run to the center aisle to watch as they exhibited their beginning pose. The music began, the show started, and they were incredible throughout the amazing show. The crowd went crazy as the girls hit their final pose. I was so proud!!!
When I went to congratulate the girls, I also received congratulations from the NBA Executives and Staff. What an honor. Even David Stern was in the audience, and much to our surprise his exit after the game was like a flash. Lots of hard work, but it all paid off!!!
That evening the entire NBA Staff and Events Crew celebrated. Having this opportunity to spend some leisure time with all these fine people and able to get to know them better was so much fun. Looking forward to working with this amazing crew again.
Even though the NBA 2009 China Game in Beijing is over, my obligations to “Dance Passion” is still in progress. My responsibilities continue as we narrow the field of competition. These twenty girls will be competing for the FINAL SIX!!!
Signing Off For Now.
Until Next Time,