Since its inception in 1959, the National Ballet of China has sought to establish a Chinese identity through an essentially Western art form. Combining exquisite ballet technique with Chinese themes and folk dance, the company boasts a diverse repertoire that achieves a unique synthesis of East and West. Mixed Repertory Program October 4 & 5 The company presents a program of works that demonstrates its skill in interpreting classical ballet as well as combining ballet with Chinese dance. Chen Zemei's The Yellow River uses powerful imagery to symbolize China's great national spirit, accompanied by the popular Yellow River Piano Concerto. Fei Bo's Remembrance is a new work that won the Choreography Prize at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition. The company also performs Act II from Giselle, the classic Romantic ballet featuring the music of Adolphe Adam and choreography after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. Performed with taped music.
WASHINGTON PREMIERE Raise the Red Lantern October 7 & 8 Internationally celebrated director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) transforms his smash hit film, based on the epic novel by Su Tong, into a dazzling full-length ballet event, praised by London's The Telegraph for its "exquisite beauty and impressive discipline." Through the haunting tale of a concubine sold by her mother into a stifling world of resentment, Zhang brings a fresh perspective to dance staging, intermingling gorgeous pas de deux with elements of folk dance, Chinese opera, acrobatics, and emotionally charged scenes of love, jealousy, and tragedy. The production features stunning choreography by Wang Xinpeng, a lush, original score composed by Chen Qigang, sumptuous sets by Zeng Li, and beautiful period costumes by France's Jérôme Kaplan. Performed with taped music.