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October 23, 2009

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Home » Feature » Art and Culture

Aussie choreographer teams with ballet company

SHANGHAI Ballet is rehearsing the contemporary ballet "Water" with famed Australian choreographer Graeme Murphy, who created the dance.

It will be performed in late November, the dates and venue to be decided. Rehearsal began last week.

"Water" is part of one of Murphy's over-arching masterpieces, "Fire, Air, Earth, Water" (1977) - representing the four elements.

The work presents the connection among water, human beings and the entire world and uses many dance styles, large groups, solos and trios. It shows the variability of water, its tranquility as well as its cruelty in disasters.

"Water is a very beautiful subject - 75 percent of the human body is water," says Murphy. "Its great fluency will be presented in the production."

Murphy, for 30 years the director of the Sydney Dance Co, is one of Australia's most distinguished choreographers. Together with his wife and fellow dancer, Janet Vernon, he guided the Sydney Dance to become one of the nation's most successful dance companies.

Chinese audiences are familiar with many of his works, such as "Salome."

Murphy, who now is an independent choreographer, came to Shanghai to oversee rehearsals for "Water."

He will stay for the opening.

"Dancers here have very good basic training. They are curious and eager about the dancing art and this will help a lot with our cooperation," says Murphy.

He expects to bring something new to this Chinese production.

The dancers will present the power and buoyancy of water - the water pouring as rain and becoming streams and rivers that empty into the sea.

Professor Han Sheng of the Shanghai Theater Academy created the stage design with high-tech elements. Shanghai designer Li Ruiding created the costumes.

"Water' will be staged along with an original piano ballet work of Shanghai Ballet - 'Dream Back Shanghai'."


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