因为李宇春的出演，超过半数观众为上海及各地甚至海外赶来的玉米。除了大家熟知的夏奶奶，如约而至的还有因“前伦敦副市长盛赞李宇春”的新闻而成为玉米地知名人物的前伦敦副市长、现上海交通大学访问教授John Ross先生。《LEE周刊》记者对John Ross先生进行了独家英文专访。采访全文翻译如下：
John：如果只能选一个人的话，我会选伟大的俄罗斯芭蕾舞蹈家玛雅·普丽赛茨卡娅（Maya Plisetskaya）。她不仅是个非常出色的芭蕾舞蹈家，而且能演绎从非常古典到非常现代的每一种类型的舞蹈。据我所知，没有任何其他艺术家能将如此多的舞蹈类型跳得这样完美。她甚至让我90岁高龄的岳父喜欢上芭蕾——他大半辈子的兴趣都主要在足球和体育上！在西方的艺术家中，如果可以补充几个，我喜欢滚石乐队（The Rolling Stones）、美国蓝调歌手“嚎叫野狼”（Howlin’ Wolf）、歌剧演员玛丽娅·卡拉斯（Maria Callas）和美国演员马龙·白兰度（Marlon Brando）。电影导演里我最喜欢中国和日本的导演——张艺谋和黑泽明（Akira Kurosawa）。
LEE周刊记者 Sally50 /上海报道
LEE Weekly: We know you bought the tickets of 2012 Art on Ice show in Shanghai especially to see Li Yuchun. Did you and your friend enjoy the show? What is your impression of her performance today compared with the ones at Tower Bridge in London and in Shanghai in 2006?
John Ross: We thought the show was really inspiring. It integrated a performance of Li Yuchun with world class ice skating. Both were of the highest standard and therefore were different but complimented each other in a very novel way.
Li Yuchun is clearly the same singer I first heard perform at Tower Bridge and in Binjiang Park. But she has got more mature. The main thing I immediately noticed at this concert was how beautiful her voice was. It struck me very much. In London I noted her personality but this time it was her voice that struck me even more.
LEE Weekly: Most of her fans and many other Chinese people got to know you from your Weibo about Li Yuchun. The news ‘Former London Deputy Mayor Highly Praised Li Yuchun’ was reported by over 44 internet media and 16 newspapers from 10 provinces. (Even my high school teacher read about the news from a local newspaper.) So our question is: Why Li Yuchun? What in your opinion enabled her to draw continuous mass attention in and abroad China in the past seven years?
John Ross: I chose to invite Li Yuchun to London originally for reasons of professional judgement – obviously we had never met her then. People in Europe know best ancient China – the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors. We wanted to introduce modern China and Li Yuchun represented an image that was clearly Chinese but very modern.
But after we actually met her new things were added. In particularly we liked her very much as a person. I told the little story about how she got out of an overloaded lift so others could go first – it, together with her personality, made a very big impression on me.
In one sense we could see in Li Yuchun a movement which exists in very many countries – that women want to live their own lives and not be defined by men. That is why she has a different image to a ‘traditional’ one for a woman. But she shows this in a uniquely Chinese way. So I think it is a combination of her artistic talent, that she represents something which modern women in many countries identify with, but she is uniquely Chinese, and her personality. All these come together to ensure her popularity.
LEE Weekly: Would you mind to share with our readers who is (was) your favorite idol? What in him/her that attracted you most?
John Ross: If I could only chose one it would actually be a great Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Not only is she a supreme dancer but she can dance in every style from the most classic to the most modern. I do not know of any other artist with her range of perfection in so many styles. She even made my 90 year old father-in-law like ballet – and for most of his life his main interest has been football and sport! Of Western artists, if could add a few, they would be the Rolling Stones, US blues singer Howlin’ Wolf, opera singer Maria Callas, and US actor Marlon Brando. Of film directors my favourite ones are Chinese and Japanese – Zhang Yimou and Akira Kurosawa
LEE Weekly: You said Li Yuchun illustrates globalized branding. With your expertise and experiences – economist background, eight years of working experience in marketing and branding London and years of teaching experience for MBA courses on Globalization in Shanghai Jiao Tong University – what do you think are the keys to successful Individual Marketing and Branding?
John Ross: The most important thing in branding is to have a totally clear concept but to be able to carry it out down to all the details. For example, to take something I was personally involved in, London won the race for the 2012 Olympics because it is the ‘most international city in the world’. That informed every part of our campaign. Li Yuchun in my opinion is a specifically modern Chinese woman and that informs every part of what she does.
LEE Weekly: Further to your answer above, what would you suggest we could do as her fans, in order to introduce Li Yuchun to markets outside China?
John Ross: Modern China is becoming more well known in the world due to its economic success – the world of course already knows ancient China well. Li Yuchun is important not only for her individual character but as a part of that modern China.
The other thing which I would add is that Li Yuchun shows again my deeply held conviction that what is common to people in different countries is much more important than what is different. Because I don’ speak Chinese I have never understood directly a single word Li Yuchun has said. But from watching her I think I have some understanding of her and what I see I liked very much!