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Top ballet dancers present stellar banquet for Beijing audiences

Xu Jing
Updated: Nov 5,2015 5:06 PM

Top dancers from the Bolshoi Theater of Russia will bring a brilliant performance to Beijing audiences.[Photo/Provided to]

World-renowned dancers from top ballet troupes all over the world such as Paris Opera Ballet, Bolshoi Theater of Russia and American Ballet Theater, will treat Beijing ballet fans to a stunning performance together on Nov 6 at Tianqiao Theater in Xuanwu district.

As the opening gala of the 2nd China International Ballet Season, the performance will present selected pieces from the most classic ballets like Swan Lake and Don Quixote, and spotlight the techniques as well as performing styles of both classical and modern ballet dance.

As the first performance in the gala, Lucia Lacarra, the superstar of Bavarian State Ballet, will perform the classic pas de deux in Swan Lake with Marlon Dino, her best partner and husband.[Photo/Provided to]

The gala consists of two parts, with eight short performances in each part by principal dancers from different world-class troupes. As the first performance of the gala, dancers from Bavarian State Ballet and National Ballet of China will co-perform Scene II of Swan Lake, a show with drama, beauty and passion. Lucia Lacarra, the superstar of Bavarian State Ballet, will perform the classic pas de deux with Marlon Dino, her best partner and husband.

Aurélie Dupont, principal dancer of Paris Opera Ballet as well as Ordre des Arts et des Lettres winner, Sarah Lane Ribagorda, soloist of American Ballet Theatre as well as the stand-in ballet performer of Natalie Portman in the film Black Swan, Evgenia Obraztsova, prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and several other outstanding dancers are also on the performing list of the gala.

Dancers from the National Ballet of China will perform the most brilliant part of their latest original ballet Crane Whisperer, a Chinese version of Swan Lake, as the last performance of the gala.[Photo/Provided to]

In addition, dancers from the National Ballet of China will perform the most brilliant part of their last original ballet Crane Whisperer, a Chinese version of Swan Lake. The ballet’s story is about a girl named Mengjuan from a family that looks after cranes. She sacrifices herself to save some cranes in a thunderstorm.

The president of the National Ballet of China, Feng Ying, came up with the idea during the troupe’s tour of Qiqihar city in Northeast China in the autumn of 2008. They visited Zhalong Nature Reserve, which is a habitat for cranes. The locals told them about the true story of a young woman who died protecting the cranes. The artists were deeply impressed by the devotion as well as the love and communication between the cranes and their caretakers, and created a ballet about the relationship between man and nature.

Two top troupes in the US, American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet, will both perform in the opening gala.[Photo/Provided to]

According to Wang Quanxing, deputy head of the National Ballet of China, the opening gala in the first International Ballet Season in 2013 was very successful, so all the three sponsors, Tianqiao Theater, National Ballet of China and Beijing Ballet of China Performing Arts Company, agreed to launch the opening gala this year with a stronger cast.

“To start the art banquet, we will present both classical and modern masterpieces in the gala. After that, more excellent foreign ballet troupes like Royal Danish Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and German National Youth Ballet will perform in Beijing within the ballet season, while domestic dancers will also bring the audiences brilliant shows,” Wang said at the news conference in early August.

Royal Danish Ballet will cooperate with National Ballet of China, and perform La Sylphide (the Sylphide) on Nov 20. [Photo/Provided to]

As one of the sponsors, the National Ballet of China is preparing six works including La Sylphide (the Sylphide), El Testamento de Amelia (the testament of Amelia), the Yellow River, the Four Seasons, La Chauve-Souris (the bat) and Don Quixote for the season.

“As the only national ballet troupe in China, we have a history of more than half a century and great potential. Last year, we celebrated our 55th anniversary with a series of dance shows in China and throughout the world. For the upcoming performance season, we will certainly live up to audiences’ expectations,” Feng Ying told Chinese journalists earlier this year.

Shanghai Grand Theatre and Shanghai Ballet will bring their latest work Song of Everlasting Regret to a Beijing audience.[Photo/Provided to]

Another highlight from the ballet season includes Song of Everlasting Regret, a ballet adaptation of a narrative poem of the same title by Bai Juyi from the 9th century, presented by Shanghai Grand Theatre and Shanghai Ballet. Director of Shanghai Ballet, Xin Lili, said that they have always strived to “tell Chinese stories on the world stage” and had engaged renowned artists such as French choreographer Patrick de Bana to infuse an international element to the troupe.

In addition, other top Chinese ballet troupes such as Guangzhou Ballet and Beijing Contemporary Dance will also bring their latest or classic works to the ballet season.

National Ballet of China will treat Beijing ballet fans with the classic ballet Don Quixote on Christmas Day, as well as the last performance of the ballet season.[Photo/Provided to]

The ballet season will run until December 26. In addition to different shows, there will be exhibitions, lectures, interviews on the history of ballet as well as a photography contest during the performance season. In order to increase the popularity of the classic art, the sponsors will hold benefit performances for students, and implement a membership program to offer special prices to ballet lovers.