International Twins Festival, Mojiang
The International Twins Festival, Mojiang.
International Twins Stars from America, Australia, India and France were flown to China to perform in the Finale Show at the International Twins Festival, Mojiang. The Twin Swing performed a routine from Chicago to thousands of Chinese spectators including government officers.
We arrived in China on the 24th April and took a few days to explore Kunming. Kunming is a popular city and tourist location within the Yunnan Province. We visited the Green Lake, a park designed in the 17th century with beautiful bridges and pavilions, The Stone Forest, a large expanse of limestone formations that were a true wonder to see and numerous stunning Buddhist Temples!
However, the real adventure began when we were collected on Friday 28th by our contacts Ruby and Young, two event organisers that had been liaising with the International Twins Stars. We stayed one more night in Kunming while twins from India, France, Australia and America joined us that night, before embarking on the long journey to Mojiang the following day.
It was a 5 hour coach journey from Kunming to Mojiang. All the twins were chatting about how we came to be there and oo-ing and ahh-ing at the mountains and wondrous views. When we pulled into Mojiang, we were briefed that there will be a red carpet with journalists, tourists and local Hani people waiting to take photos and interview. We were to say with enthusiasm "Nǐ hǎo Mojiang"! After a 5 hour coach journey, it was a real shock to get off and be greeted with loud singing, instruments playing and tourists pulling you for photos in every direction, it was very surreal! Jess and I had matching outfits (which we never usually do) and so did most of the other twins.
We had been assigned 2 translators that greeted us immediately and acted somewhat like body guards, ushering us around and eventually showing us to our hotel room. In the hotel we had been left bags of gifts and notes from the organisers greeting and welcoming us to China. It was very overwhelming!
Throughout the next few days we had numerous events and shows to attend and take part in. There was a parade in which we were driven around the busy streets with thousands of Chinese people taking photos. We had to attend the opening ceremony whereby we had been allocated the best seats in the house (photo attached)! Our translators/helpers would bring us back to the hotel afterwards and explain that we had 1 hour to ‘have a rest’ which was desperately needed most days as dealing with the heat and hype was quite exhausting!
Our performance was a routine from Chicago that we have danced many times at events in London. It was being filmed and shown live on the TV in China but there were thousands of spectators in the huge stadium that had been erected especially for the festival. The American twins (Jrod Twins) performed together, one singing and one playing the guitar, the French twins had a very comical and physical double act that had the audience in stitches and the most identical twins in the world, Lucy and Anna, were interviewed. The local people are very superstitious about twins and believe there are wells in Mojiang that if you drink from, will ensure you give birth to twins. Our translator actually said that they celebrate this festival more than the Chinese New Year!
The final day of the Festival was Wednesday 3rd of May and Jessica and I had not had much sleep for about 4 days! We had quickly grown very close to the other sets of twins, and also the Chinese people that were looking after us. It was an emotional goodbye from all of us and we will be staying in touch and potentially collaborating with them all in the future.