Funnily enough, senior figures of the China-US Association of Chongqing have been Wechat contacts for a number of years. In the non too distant past, they even hosted a masked ball in my apartment complex reception venue. Yet, despite us having brushed shoulders on occaisions so long, Saturday evening will be the day I finally break my duck and attend for the first time.
The China-US Association was founded in 2013, and goes by the Chinese name of ‘Meiqiaohui美侨会.’ The organisation is a socio-economic platform for high society based in Chongqing, with the aim of facilitating cultural and business exchange between China and the United States.
Among the wide scope of activities are oveseas study consultancy, advertising, brand design, events, investments, migration, and interestingly, organises matchmaking parties for residents seeking a partner in marriage.
Clients include major Chinese enterprises, government, Fortune 500 companies, along with elite figures the association invites as guests of honour.
While the main focus is on Sino-US relations, Meiqiaohui welcomes all nationalities to attend on an invitation basis, despite the exclusivity the name may suggest.
Meiqiaohui holds its events in majestic venues around the city. Popular choices include high end shopping centres, banqueting halls and reception centres. In the summer this year, they held an open air party to celebrate American Independence Day on the lawns of Eden Manor, Nan’an District.
This Saturday evening at the Aegean Mall in Yubei District, Meiqiaohui is holding an international music and cocktail themed event, in cooperation with 103.5FM Arts Radio Station, as well as Lianhua Duoduo Women’s Union and Arts Troupe.
Finally, opportunity and availability joined hands when a prospective invite came through Wechat courtesy of the senior figure ‘Meimei美美.’
Under strict orders, considering there will be singles in attendance, I confirmed my wife and I would join the grand occasion and rub shoulders with the international elite in town.
An Evening at the Aegean
A busy day reached its finale as I claimed an elusive space in the underground carpark, discreetly changed into smarter clothes behind the wheel, then made my way to the central hall of the ground floor.
We checked our names at a small reception desk, stuck on a numbered guest wristband to enter inside and take part in the raffle intervals.
Though the event wasn’t quite the social occaision I was expecting, it was nevertheless a highly entertaining series of dance performances before a panel of judges and us, the audience. The hostess oversaw everything in between, as she faultlessly presented each stage of the proceedings without stealing the limelight in any way.
Neither were the dance routines limited to a particular style or age group. A duo of adept ladies performed the tango, before giving way to a child gracefully displayed a traditional Mongolian dance in full costume. Other entrants included an immaculately dressed waltzing couple, a rather provocative solo performance, and a group of schoolgirls doing hiphop.
Having admired dance troupes at the Grand Theatre on many an occaision, such as Riverdance and Swan Lake, I have to say the quality of the performances this night was top notch, and quite how the judges go about selecting a favourite amongst such a rich variety is beyond my limits of appreciation.
My lasting impression was the superb organisation, seamless transition, consistency in performance quality, great raffle prizes, and the high level of specatator interest. I saw many of the senior figures eagerly hurry round all evening as they made sure the evening proceeded smoothly, which it certainly did, but leaving no opportunity to exchange a few words.
As the clock ticked, the unattended barrier opened up and members of the public filed in among us. Around this time, we neeed to return home, but I did so with the certain regret about missing the finale, and not getting my hands on a bottle of fine wine from the raffle!
I’m already looking forward to the next event!
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