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China-Cuba ballet: A dance of friendship


07-26-2014 00:15 BJT

A splendid ballet to mark friendship between two countries. The National Ballet of China has teamed up with the Cuban National Ballet and delivered a mesmerizing show in Havana. It's the first time for the two to share one stage in a half-century of artistic relations.  Let's go behind the scenes for a look at the efforts that went into the masterpiece.

Cuban ballet is known for its passionate and free-flowing style. Here in Havana, it's 35 degrees Celsius, but the dancers are braving the heat without air conditioners. Chinese and Cuban dancers are undergoing a rigorous rehearsal under the supervision of China's troupe leader Feng Ying, and 94-year-old Cuban Ballet legend Alicia Alonso. During past visits to China, Alonso has met with Mao Tse Dong and Zhou Enlai.

"I was deeply touched when I met Mao Tse Dong in Beijing. It was only a brief acquaintance, but the memory stuck. I really want to go back to China sometime and witness all the amazing changes happening there," legend Alicia Alonso said.

"This is the first time that the National Ballet of China has performed with the Cuban National Ballet. This is historic and marks a step forward in artistic cooperation between the two countries," Director of National Ballet of China Feng Ying said.

The rehearsal focuses on the classic ballet piece Don Quixote and a scene from the second act of Giselle. The joint performance comes after 50 years of ballet exchange between China and Cuba, and strengthens the foundation for future cooperation.

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