CriticalDance Forum

Shanghai Ballet 2005-6
Page 1 of 2

Author:  jeffsh [ Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Shanghai Ballet 2005-6

I have been working on this for two and half years. Now it's finally happening. Shanghai Ballet will aquire its first Balanchine with premiere of Serenade on Oct. 25
I am working on bringing more Balanchine to Shanghai. I am interested in any idea for fund-raising, support etc.
thanks. jeff

Author:  jeffsh [ Fri Sep 30, 2005 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Support

For any information please go to their web site
it's very simple site right now. hopefully it will get better

Further note on Serenade:
Ben Huys will arrive on Oct. 9 to set the ballet. The premiere will be on Oct. 25 at Majestic Theatre. They will also dance Third Act of Don Q on the same program

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 01, 2005 3:47 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi jeffsh and thanks a lot for the link to the Shanghai Ballet website. As far as I can see there are 48 dancers on the roster. Every company has its own strengths and comparisons are often inappropriate, but what do you see as the similarities and differences between this Company and the National Ballet of China?

"The White-Haired Girl" has obviously played and continues to play an important role in the Company's repertoire. can you tell us something about the themes and the ballet styles used.

All in all, Jeffsh, we're keen to hear anything you want to tell us about the Company.

Turning to Balanchine, I'm also interested to hear how you fell in love with his work. Which of the works you have seen have made the biggest impact? It goes without saying that we are VERY keen to hear your report on the forthcoming performances of "Serenade": the views of audiences, critics and, not least, yourself.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:03 am ]
Post subject: 

I've just rediscovered a previous Shanghai Ballet topic, which covers their US tour in 2002: ... 305#158305

Author:  jeffsh [ Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

maybe I will start from the easier one about my love for Balanchine. As for Shanghai Ballet itself, I need sometime to put my thoughts on paper. As non-native English Speaker, I do not want to misrepresent the facts by using the wrong words. I will post something on this later
I first watched a recording of Concerto Barocco on China Central TV around 1982. I saw my first live performance of Apollo when Royal Ballet visited Beijing around 1984 or 85(?) even though I only had very vague idea about Balanchine then. it literally blew my mind. All those Swan Lakes I have seen before that stopped meaning anything to me. In balanchine I found what ballet really is. (sorry if I offended any people who love those classics)
then it followed with my university, work etc. I moved and settled in Canberra, Australia. I flew to Melbourne to watch Pacific Northwest Ballet doing Agon in 1993 or 94(?). watched 3 performances in one weekend
then I finally realised my dream of moving to NYC in 1998. I lived at W 64 St. and Central Park West (3 minutes walk to the State Theater). I spent all my time at State Theater duing NYCB seasons. I was even featured on Time Out New York as one of NYCB's biggest fans.
Then I had to move to Shanghai for work (to the astonishment of all my NYCB friends). Now it's my goal to bring more Balanchine to Shanghai
I will post some of my views about Shanghai Ballet soon. thanks, jeff

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Oct 02, 2005 2:40 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you, Jeff - your journey of discovery with the Balanchine rep made very interesting reading. Looking forward to your thoughts on Shanghai Ballet.

By the way, we are very keen to have contributions from "English as a Second Language" posters and we understand that there will be some mistakes. Content is King on CriticalDance.

Author:  jeffsh [ Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:12 am ]
Post subject: 

As promised, here is some my comments about Shanghai Ballet (SHB) and some comparisons with National Ballet of China (NBC)

Ms Zhao is both Artistic Director and Managing Director so she has more control of the company. Ms Xin is only Artistic Director of SHB, she reports to another MD which makes things slightly complicated.

NBC has strong backing from Central Government. Being China’s national company, it has more financial resources. One major benefit of NBC’s strong financial position is having its own orchestra. SHB has to rely on other orchestra for special performances (e.g.: 40 anniversary performances of the White Haired Girl with Shanghai Symphony). SHB will use recording for Serenade premiere.

NBC was founded in 1959. Its most well known Chinese work is Red Detachment of Women.

Shanghai Dance School adapted White Haired Girl from opera to ballet in 1964-65. The show was performed for following 14 years before SHB was officially set up in 1979 based on White Haired Girl production team.

NBC has much bigger roster. As I have witnessed at their Balanchine specials in Hong Kong. They have quite a few strong Principals: ZHU Yan, ZHANG Jian, LI Jun and HAN Bo. They already have 3 Balanchine pieces: Serenade, Four Temperaments, Theme and Variations

SHB has FAN Xiaofeng and SUN Shenyi who won Gold Medal-Senior Division in the 19th IBC in Varna, Bulgaria in 2000. I am so glad FAN has returned to the company last month after one year stint with Australia Ballet. Other dancers need more challenging repertoires to hone their skills. That’s why I hope we can get more Balanchine soon.

I think both companies are based on Russian training as most of the teachers in ballet schools got started with Soviet teachers in 1950s and early 1960s. I am still not very good at describing dance styles. Maybe I will try this topic later.

From my conversation with Ms Xin, she does want to produce some original works soon. I think we need to have bigger pool of good choreographers in China. It may be good exposure to get some overseas choreographers to China. I welcome any suggestions on how to make this happen: the usual things like sponsorship etc.

Author:  jeffsh [ Tue Oct 04, 2005 1:12 am ]
Post subject: 

A further note: I am still hoping we can get a small string orchestra for Serenade premiere

Author:  jeffsh [ Sat Oct 08, 2005 12:46 am ]
Post subject: 

News Release for the Serenade performance:

In commemoration of the 101th Anniversary of George Balanchine
The Glamour of Ballet
George Balanchine’s Serenade (music by Tchaikovsky)
Don Quixot: Act Three
A new piece: by Wang Yuanyuan

Time:7:15 pm Oct.25
Telephone:62568282 62759611×815
Venue:The Majestic Theatre

(Photo by: Paul Kolnik)
Ballet in four movements
Music: Serenade for Strings in C, Op.48 (1880) by Peter Llyitch Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine (1935)
Serenade is a milestone in the history of dance. It is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America. The ballet is performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes before a blue background. Serenade has four movements –“Sonatina”, “Waltz”, ”Russian Dance” and “Elegy”. The last movements reverse the order of Tchaikovsky’s score, ending the ballet on a note of sadness.
George Balanchine’s ballet is called “Music Ballet” because of its abstraction and just like music flowing on the stage. Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.
The Ballet of George Balanchine Serenade is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® service standards established and provided by the Trust
Running time: 30 minutes

Author:  jeffsh [ Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

from Shanghai Daily

The original 'Serenade' dances in

Michelle Qiao

2005-10-21 Beijing Time

In a remarkable dance event, the Shanghai Ballet next week premieres George Balanchine's "Serenade" in the city. Ben Huys of the New York City Ballet has come to town to teach the Shanghai dancers how to perform in the original Balanchine style.

"Performing a Balanchine ballet can be a challenge to any company who is not familiar to the style," says Huys. "The choreography is quick, a lot of footwork. I am teaching the company every day so they can get used to the style."

for whole article (I don't know how to do 'more...'

Author:  jeffsh [ Thu Oct 27, 2005 1:15 am ]
Post subject: 

from Financial Times
(thanks Kevin! I will buy you dinner next time)

Shanghai Ballet
By Kevin Ng
Published: October 27 2005 03:00 | Last updated: October 27 2005 03:00

Majestic Theatre, Shanghai

Unlike the National Ballet of China, which already has five of George Balanchine's ballets in its repertory, the Shanghai Ballet premiered its first just this week.

Ben Huys, a former dancer of the New York City Ballet, staged Serenade, an early masterpiece by the 20th century's greatest choreographer, in a mixed programme that forms part of the Shanghai International Arts Festival.

for the whole article

Author:  jeffsh [ Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:03 am ]
Post subject: 

from Shanghai Ballet website


Serenade is a milestone in the history of dance. It is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet’s repertory. The ballet is performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes before a blue background.

for the whole article, please go to

for more information about Shanghai Ballet, please go to

Author:  jeffsh [ Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Shanghai Ballet will have more performances of Serenade on March 27-28. This is the second time they perform this after the premiere last October. They will do same programs for both nights: Serenade and Le Sylphide

Author:  jeffsh [ Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:21 am ]
Post subject: 

from Shanghai Daily
Ballet in the bargain basement
Michelle Qiao
Shanghai Ballet will stage two low-price shows with the cheapest tickets only 50 yuan (US$6.25) next week. The new repertoire features "Serenade" and "La Sylphide." Thank goodness. Not "Swan Lake" or "Nutcracker" again and again.

As the first George Balanchine work to show in town, the Shanghai premier of the 32-minute "Serenade" was a hit last October.

for whole article

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:43 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks as always for the newspaper link, Jeff. The budget priced events are an excellent idea and let's hope it brings in some new audiences as well as a bonus for regulars.

How about your own recent experiences, Jeff - what have you seen?

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group