Saturday, 4 December 2010

Paris - again

Paris. I didn’t realise – or didn’t want to admit how much I missed the city. I was looking at each detail carefully, as if frightened that it would vanish from my sight again.
The city was covered with snow, an unlikely view in these times of global warming.
Jan picked my up at the airport in spite of the early hour. What a dear friend. And as often the case when I return somewhere after a certain time, all the past months in Taipei suddenly vanished, as if they never happened. 

Jardin des Tuileries

I made a big case of NINA being performed for the first time in Paris. For Jo and me, it was an important trial. Jo was coming back to present a new piece, six years after having been mercilessly demolished by critics. He was anxious to see how they would react this time. For me, the Parisian premiere of NINA, beside being my first important project to be shown here, paradoxically also meant the conclusion of my life in Paris. And I wanted my friends and family to finally see and have a glimpse of what has brought away from France.
It was a triumph. The theatre was full every night. I saw so many friendly and beloved faces beaming with joy and pride. I felt happy and content. Theirs weren’t forced smiles for a friend they felt compelled to support. They just liked it. It was one of those rare moment when everything is perfectly balanced and harmonious.
My parents came on the last day. We had had a family meal earlier on and my brother struck the wonderful news that he would soon be a father. Needless to say, my mother couldn’t contain herself. Her ultimate wish was being granted. I can easily imagine what a meaningful day it had also been for my father. Each in our own way, my brother and I gave him the best present we could possibly give. I never saw him so proud and delighted at something I have done. He had seen NINA on DVD, but the TV experience could hardly compare to the actual stage performance.
As the years pass by, I grow closer to my father and understand the man and the artist. I don’t know how many sons reach the point in their life where they genuinely love and respect their father. I wish that many of them do.
“Your father is soooo cute!!!” Jo said after meeting him. People are always so surprised when they see him. His music inspires awe and respect in them. But he is a simple and humble man.

Father, mother and son - Photo by Mathieu Thoisy

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