THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Ministry of Culture of the Peoples Republic of China and the Embassy of China in the Philippines present the National Ballet of China in Raise the Red Lantern on October 27 to 28 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater at 8 p.m.
Founded in December 1959, the National Ballet of China gathers all of its outstanding artists from professional academies. During decades of care and support from the government and friends from all social sectors, the company has never ceased enriching its solid Russian foundations with works of different schools and styles. The company’s repertoire includes classics like Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Giselle, Carmen, Onegin, and The Little Mermaid, as well as original creations like The Red Detachment of Women, The New Year Sacrifice, Yellow River, The Peony Pavilion, The Chinese New Year and The Crane Calling.
By both performing Western ballets and creating works of its own with distinct national characteristics, the company has found a successful path for the development of Chinese ballet. It fuses the classical and the modern, and cultures from all over the world.
For more than 50 years, the company is proud to have made great achievements in talent training and stage productions, as well as in ballet promotion and education. Numerous ballet dancers, choreographers, musicians and stage artists have won major international awards, and have collaborated with international stars in their respective fields.
The company has a repertoire of nearly 200 ballets, several of which are now known as classic Chinese works of art, and have become famous, internationally. As a world-renowned company with great international influence, the National Ballet of China serves as a cultural envoy and an important window to the nation, spreading the essence of Chinese culture. Meanwhile, it also endeavors to present high-class performances to the Chinese audience, and to promote the art form in universities, communities and among children. Feng Ying, a well-known ballerina and ballet mistress in China is currently the Executive Director and the Artistic Director of the company.
A ballet in three acts, Raise the Red Lantern was created and premiered in 2001. Set in the 1920s, it tells the story of a young woman who becomes one of the concubines of a wealthy man during the Warlord Era. The ballet is based on Su Tong’s novel “Wives and Concubines”, and later adapted into film by Zhang Yimou with the same title. Led by former director Madam Zhao Ruheng, the company invited a diverse group of world renowned artists, including the film director Zhang Yimou, composer Qigang Chen from France, choreographer Xinpeng Wang from Germany and Wang Yuanyuan, stage designer Zeng Li and the French costume designer Jérôme Kaplan.
This international creative team conceived and produced this modern ballet fusing cinema, shadow play, Peking opera and all sorts of Chinese culture elements with western ballet vocabulary.