CriticalDance Forum

Shanghai Ballet
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Jul 23, 2001 11:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Shanghai Ballet 2001-2

Shanghai Ballet Troupe to Stage Full Swan Lake

Shanghai Ballet Troupe, one of the best ballet companies in China, will stage a full-length version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" at Shanghai Grand Theater on August 2.

It will be the first of its kind in more than a decade, said the latest edition of "Shanghai Daily".

In an interview with the Shanghai-based English newspaper, Xin Lili, art director of the Shanghai Ballet Troupe, said: " Previously, we only performed acts starting from the second of ' Swan Lake'." ... 75623.html

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Apr 11, 2002 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

'Feminist' ballet to grace Shanghai
By ZOU HUILIN in The China Daily

SHANGHAI: "Coppelia," one of the jewels of the classical ballet repertoire, will come alive April 9 to 11 at the Shanghai Grand Theatre, thanks to a combined effort of French and local artists.

"We invited Pierre Lacotte, a universally acknowledged expert at restoring and recreating classical ballet," said Hamut Mahmud, director of the Shanghai Ballet Troupe.

The performance will be the authentic French version that has been staged only in Paris. Mahmud is ecstatic that Shanghai has been chosen as the ballet's first venue outside France. "How lucky the audience here is," he said. "We should be grateful to Xin Lili for her long friendship with Lacotte."

Mahmud said Lacotte would be sure to make the performance a hit in Shanghai.

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Author:  Misa_danseuse [ Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to see the Shanghai Ballet perform on their US tour. I was hoping to write a review but as I've been completely and utterly preoccupied lately, I thought I'd be better off sharing a few informal tid bits now.

The Shanghai Ballet has been touring the Mid-Atlantic (Washington D.C./Virginia) area as of late and will continue to move further south into Atlanta for their First Glance Atlanta Festival in mid October. The company has been introducing US audiences to its 1965 classic "The White Haired Girl". This full length ballet (eight scenes plus a prologue) was first staged in 1965 and has since been performed over 1500 times; so you might say its their "swan song" ( bad pun intended :)

Another interesting aspect of the ballet is how the "White Haired Girl" (or Xi'er) transistions are dealt with. During the first four scenes the role of Xi'er was danced by a beautiful ballerina, Ji Pingping. After Xi'er dissapears into the wilderness her hair turns from black to grey to white. As her hair turns grey, a different dancer replaces the black haired Xi'er. The grey haired Xi'er dances a short variation and then another dancer, with white hair, replaces the grey haired Xi'er. The white haired Xi'er dances the remainder of the ballet.

Zhang Weiying danced the role of the "White Haired Girl" and she began with a rather unnerving occurrence, she fell (quite hard) within the first thirty seconds of her opening variation. While falling on stage is always disconcerting for the dancer, her recovery was so speedy (perhaps the fastest recovery I've ever seen!), the audience didn't even seem to notice. Despite her opening mishap, Zhang Weiying gave an incredible performance. She had a remarkable grasp of the emotional investment required of each scene. She never seemed to "over act" yet Zhang brought an appropriate amount of drama to some of the most climatic scenes in the wilderness. Aside from the prologue, the wilderness scenes were my favorite. During this time, the White Haired Haired Girl is onstage alone for a long duration , which is not only a physical challenge but a deep exploration of the psyche as well.

I was equally impressed with the Shanghai Ballet's small but capable corps de ballet. The women in the corps really stood out for their technical capabilities and expressive presence.

Other interesting aspects of the performance included the use of Chinese folk dance and martial arts. Though not a major component of the production, these elements were worked into the ballet at various points and added to the ballet's distinct Chinese identity. The ballet was accompanied by both traditional Chinese instrumental music and a vocal score.

I do recommend looking into the Shanghai Ballet's touring schedule. Seeing "The White Haired Girl " was a unique and enjoyable experience.

I apologize for my lack of formalities but I thought it'd be nice to address the company's presence ( at the very least), since I don't have the time to write a proper review. :)

Author:  Malcolm Tay [ Wed Oct 02, 2002 3:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

Thanks for the sorta review, Misa! I missed seeing the Shanghai Ballet when they were in town for the 1996 Singapore Arts Festival. Hopefully I'll be able to catch "The White-Haired Girl" at least once in my lifetime.

Author:  Basheva [ Wed Oct 02, 2002 8:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

I remember seeing White Haired Girl on television many years ago when Mrs. Nixon was instrumental in bringing that tape back from her visit to China.

I wsa totally impressed with the dancers, they were truly beautiful and very dramatic.

Author:  Misa_danseuse [ Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

“The White Haired Girl” reviewed in the Washington Post:

Art and politics usually make uneasy bedfellows. During China's Cultural Revolution, when universities were closed and longstanding cultural ideas and institutions were rather forcefully reexamined, ballets from China's Soviet-imported classical ballet tradition, such as "Swan Lake," were expunged from the repertory.
Click for More

Author:  Marie [ Fri Oct 04, 2002 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

SARAH D'ESTI MILLER - Press & Sun-Bulletin, October 5, 2002:
'Coppelia' staging harkens back to classic ballet's debut

Ha Muti, director of the Shanghai Ballet, said that Coppelia is exemplary to young dancers in China.

<small>[ 10-05-2002, 00:57: Message edited by: Marie ]</small>

Author:  Kevin Ng [ Sat Oct 05, 2002 4:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

There's a review by Robert Greskovic in the Wall Street Journal, which is only available to the Journal's subscribers. Greskovic was more impressed by the Shanghai dancers in the White Haired Girl than in Pierre Lacotte's Coppelia.,,SB1033524003485782913,00.html

Author:  Cathy [ Sat Oct 05, 2002 10:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

Has someone see Marie-Agnès Gillot and Hervé Moreau when they dance this summer Swan Lake with Shangai ballet or do you find a review about them in this ballet. They came to dance it in Paris and have wonderful criticism.

Author:  Misa_danseuse [ Sat Oct 05, 2002 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

I'm sorry I missed that Cathy! It must've been wonderful! Did you see it? What did you think?

Author:  Fouette [ Sun Oct 06, 2002 1:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

FYI: The Shanghai Ballet Troupe's signature ballet is "The White-Haired Girl", while the National Ballet of China's signature piece is "The Red Detachment of Women". Very rarely do they switch pieces to perform!

Author:  Kevin Ng [ Fri Oct 11, 2002 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

Robert Greskovic's review in the Wall Street Journal last week, which I pointed out above, is reprinted in today's Asian Wall Street Journal. Asian readers please note.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Oct 25, 2002 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

Shanghai Ballet To Perform Coppelia
By Jeff Eason for The Mountain Times (North Crolina)

The Appalachian State University Office of Cultural Affairs will present the second offering of the 2002-03 Performing Arts Series this month when the Shanghai Ballet comes to Boone. The Shanghai Ballet will present the classical ballet Coppelia at Farthing Auditorium on Tuesday, October 29th at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the Farthing Auditorium Box Office.

Founded in 1979, the Shanghai Ballet acknowledges the European traditions of classical ballet while incorporating aspects of traditional Chinese dance. The ballet company also creates new works based on Chinese folk traditions and stories.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Nov 04, 2002 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

Positives shine through in Shanghai Ballet's 'Coppelia'
By Harold Duckett, Special to The Knoxsville News-Sentinel

The Shanghai Ballet brought a near first-rate production of Leo Delibes' "Coppelia" to the Knoxville Civic Auditorium on Saturday night.

The beautifully designed and built sets were copied from the scale models created for the original production in 1870.

Delibes' first full ballet score, it presents the story of a village doll maker, Coppelius, who tries to bring one of his creations to life by stealing the soul of a villager, Frantz, a young man ripe for love who has seen the doll through a window and thinks she is reading.

Swanilda, the village girl Frantz has been chasing, has seen the doll, too. She and her companions break into Coppelius' house and discover a room full of Coppelius' creations.

click for more

Author:  Basheva [ Fri Nov 15, 2002 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shanghai Ballet

From the Los Angeles Times:

Shanghai Ballet's precise 'Coppélia'
In spite of a lack of fluidity and an oddly arid version of the ballet, some moments of beautiful dancing still shone through.

By Jennifer Fisher, Special to The Times

The Shanghai Ballet, dancing "Coppélia," made its first local appearance at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Wednesday night, looking beautifully schooled and just the slightest bit stern in their pursuit of perfect placement and unison. It didn't help that they were working with an oddly arid version of the ballet, but some moments of beautiful dancing still managed to shine through.

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