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Ballet "Peony Pavilion" highlights Edinburgh Festival

08-16-2011 09:43 BJT

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Some of the Asian arts being performed at the Edinburgh International Festival is a ballet version of "Peony Pavilion."

Supported by the Ministry of Culture, the National Ballet of China and its Symphony Orchestra presented a marriage of traditional Chinese instrumentation and dance with Western classical ballet to an occidental audience.

For most Chinese people, the 400-year-old romance of "The Peony Pavilion" is chiefly remembered as a 20-hour cycle of Kunqu Opera. But in 2008, The National Ballet of China took the epic opera and translated it into a full-scale 2-hour ballet.

The result, which has already sold out its performances at Edinburgh this year, has been described as a lavish, romantic and "fusion" ballet, blending Western classical ballet and a classic symphony orchestra with traditional Chinese instruments and a character from Kunqu Opera.

"The Peony Pavilion," written by Tang Xianzu in the Ming Dynasty, is one of the most famous love stories in the Chinese canon, a deeply romantic tale of the power of love to conquer death.

Still of ballet version of "Peony Pavilion"

While some critics doubted what to make of this hybrid version of one of the classics of the Chinese stage, others are assured that the "Peony Pavilion" is both a pioneering move for the National Ballet of China as well as an important step for the evolution of Chinese ballet.

Xiang Xiaowei, asst. dir. general, Bureau for External Cultural Relations, said, "Edinburgh Festival is an essential part of the world's celebration of arts. We've been looking forward to performing here for so long."

Jonathan Mills, festival director, said, "The Peony Pavilion is particularly appropriate piece to open the festival."

Still of ballet version of "Peony Pavilion"

Often compared to both "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Tang's play fits neatly along with the two other Chinese performances at Edinburgh this year, an operatic reinterpretation of Hamlet and a performance of King Lear.

Now National Ballet of China has been pushing boundaries and becoming more progressive and experimental, but judging by the audience's reaction and box office results, the hard work is obviously paying off.

Still of ballet version of "Peony Pavilion"

Still of ballet version of "Peony Pavilion"

Still of ballet version of "Peony Pavilion"

Still of ballet version of "Peony Pavilion"

 

 

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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