When the Flying Egret troupe came back to Xiamen from Morocco where they attended the 18th International Children's Art Festival, the parents summarize the trip with the following data: 9 teachers, 29 children, one-month rehearsal, nearly 50-hour air travel over about 20,000 kilometers, 4 days in 3 African cities, and 3 shows(13 programs and 70-minute performance for each).
The 18th Morocco International Children's Art Festival was held on April 13th in central Morocco’s Taza, many children's troupes from 16 countries and regions were invited, and the Flying Egret troupe with Siming Youth and Children’s Palace was the only Chinese delegation.
The troupe from Xiamen were warmly welcome at the airport by the counsellor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in The Kingdom of Morocco and the officials of Ministry of Culture of Morocco.
These little performers took on all the shows at the opening ceremony. At 5:00 pm April 13th local time, the Flying Egret ensemble lift the curtain on the art festival with a jubilant yangko named NIUNIU (Little Girl in English), a popular folk dance in northeast China. Only a little while after the performance started, the audience started to cheer, scream, and whistle, as if they were watching a show given by superstars.
In Africa, these little “flying egrets” won rounds of generous applause for their wonderful performance. Ahmed, an official of the Ministry of Culture of Morocco,was one of the enthusiastic audiences. During these four days, he had always accompanied the troupe and he was fascinated every time when he watched the northeast yangko. Moroccan state television reported this opening ceremony and also broadcast the whole video of NIUNIU.
In Meiknesi, 29 diplomats from the Embassy of The People's Republic of China in The Kingdom of Morocco watched the show.
It is not enough to describe the enthusiasm of the audiences in words. Every time when the show was over, the audiences would flood into the stage to ask for group photos.
The reason why the audiences show such enthusiasm is not only because of the troupe’s wonderful performance but also because of the local culture. According to Wang Zhenzhen, director of Siming Youth and Children’s Palace, each of these three cities the troupe visited has a standard theater even though they are not big cities at all.
There was only one month or so left for Siming Youth and Children’s Palace to prepare since they received the invitation, so it is impossible to bring all the members and programs to Morocco. Therefore, they re-adapted all the programs by deleting the stereotyped stage announcement and connecting them with one and another. In this way, the performance run very smooth. Furthermore, Wu Ziheng, a teacher with the Children’s Palace, translated one section of the song Jasmine into French in order to arouse sympathy.
Ahmed was very reluctant to part from the troupe, so he insisted on sending everyone to the plane and appointed with the children to come again next year.