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August 12, 2009

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Ballet with a Chinese twist

THOUGH many people are familiar with the classic ballet "The Nutcracker," a new stage version combining Western classical ballet with traditional Chinese performing arts, will present a different interpretation of the classic.

The acrobatic pantomime created by the Dalian Acrobatics Troupe has recently completed a successful tour in Europe and will be staged from today to Sunday at Shanghai Grand Stage.

The fairytale story centers on the adventures of a German girl whose godfather presents her with a magical nutcracker which comes to life as a handsome prince.

He then takes the girl on a journey to a snow-filled land of fantastic candy creatures.

The story was set to music by Tchaikovsky in the 1890s and has become one of the most popular of all ballets. It was usually staged around Christmas time.

However, the new stage version will display many types of Chinese performing arts such as Peking Opera, acrobatics, pantomime martial arts, conjuring and burlesque.

According to Qi Chunsheng, director of the Dalian Acrobatics Troupe, it is the first time that the Western classic has merged innovatively with Oriental performing arts.

"Chinese acrobatics and magic will be a highlight of the show and they will create a fantastic and illusive ambience of the story," he says.

One of the spectacular scenes requires the performers to have both excellent acrobatic and dancing skills.

During the scene, the heroine dances on the head of the nutcracker prince and embarks on their journey to the fairyland.

The performance is also due to be adapted into a 3D movie for children.

All proceeds from the show will go to Shanghai Charity Foundation to support university students to start their own business.

Date: August 12-16, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Stage, 1111 Caoxi Rd N.

Tickets: 180-1,080 yuan

Tel: 6426-5678, 5228-0839


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