Friday, 1 September 2017

Yujia Wang's Distracting Dress

Here is pianist Yujia Wang covered up! in a promotional poster
Tonight was the season opener for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the soloist was superstar pianist Yujia Wang.

It's quite amazing that I've seen her perform for 10 years now -- I saw her play in a small concert hall in Beijing in 2007.

And tonight she played in front of several who's who -- Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, principal guest conductor Yu Long, former lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing former Hong Kong Monetary Authority Joseph Yam Chi-kwong to name a few.

While her performance tonight of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1 was mesmerizing, she doesn't seem to have matured as a person.

This is the dress she wore (here with the Santa Cruz Symphony)
She walked on stage in this revealing dress -- a turquoise number with a deep V both in the front and back, but it was actually covered up with skin-coloured cloth. Then she could barely walk and I soon could see why -- she was wearing platform heels which forced her to stick her butt out.

When she sat down -- and we sat behind her -- we could see her G-string... how classy.

Why was she wearing such a skin-tight dress with skin-coloured fabric? This is not figure skating! This is a performance at a concert hall! And those heels -- gold coloured too -- belonged on the dance floor. Hardly sexy or sophisticated.

As for the music, we really loved her playing, but that bow afterwards needs some work. She just flings her head down, puts her right arm across her chest and shuffles off in that skin-tight dress that might as well be a nylon tube sock. She hardly acknowledged the crowd sitting behind the orchestra -- at least Lang Lang would have given them a few bows in gratitude.

And what about some kudos so the orchestra that performed with her? She barely gave any thanks to them except finally shaking the hand of the concert master before again shuffling off.

She seemed ambivalent about giving an encore, but when the audience won't stop clapping, surely they want to hear more?

Wang finally obliged -- twice -- and we were very pleased. But how about a bit of humility? Or was it nerves from performing in front of dignitaries or the dress and shoes weren't working out?

If she's not comfortable in them, she really shouldn't wear them. I want to see a performer who is confident and happy and shows some grace. I guess she still has a lot to learn.

After the intermission, the Hong Kong Phil gave a very lively performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Music director Jaap van Zweden was militant about the timing and also jumped up and down several times to make his point.

The orchestra replied with fantastic sound that resonated throughout the concert hall, dischordant at times, but very experimental and full of energy and full use of the entire orchestra, especially percussion!

When the concert was over, with two rounds of clapping, Carrie Lam got out of her seat to approach the stage. My friend nudged me to leave so we did -- along with scores of other people!

Season Opening: Jaap & Yujia
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no. 1
Stravinsky The Rite of Spring
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall

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