The story appears on

Page C5

August 14, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Art and Culture

'Swan Lake' ... an American tale

AMERICA'S oldest professional ballet company, the San Francisco Ballet, and its principal ballerina Tan Yuanyuan, will be visiting China this autumn as part of a three-week tour of Asia.

It will be the company's first visit to Asia and the tour will include engagements in Shanghai, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, and Beijing from September 22 to October 3 for a total of eight performances.

There will be four performances at Shanghai Grand Theater from September 22-25, followed by one performance at the Suzhou Grand Theater on September 28, and the tour will end with three at Beijing Poly Theater in October.

The company will present Helgi Tomasson's full-length production of "Swan Lake."

Tchaikovsky's masterpiece premiered in 1877 and is one of the ballets most familiar to Chinese audiences.

The version choreographed by Tomasson, the company's artistic director and principal choreographer, premiered in 1988 at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco and was the first American production.

The performance received high praise from the critics with Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times calling it "the most beautiful Swan Lake in history."

In addition to presenting Tomasson's full-length version, the company will also present a mixed program featuring a diverse range of works by George Balanchine, Tomasson and Christopher Wheeldon.

"This invitation confirms San Francisco's international reputation as a center for the arts. We are particularly proud to be representing our community," says Tomasson.

Finest dancer

"We are pleased to present our own Swan Lake, and we hope we can give our best performance for Chinese audiences."

Tan will lead two of the Shanghai performances.

The Shanghai-born dancer is one of the world's finest ballet dancers.

She frequently performs in Shanghai, but it will be her first performance in her hometown with San Francisco Ballet.

"I am looking forward very much to performing with my company in my hometown," says Tan.

Magnetic is as good a word as any to describe Tan's allure, but it is insufficient to explain how she, at the age of 33, has become one of the world's top ballerinas and the most critically acclaimed dancer to have emerged from China.

Natural ability enabled the Shanghai-born Tan to win a gold medal in 1992 while competing for China at an international ballet competition in France, where she caught the eye of Tomasson. Tan's determination helped her at age 21 to reach ballet's highest rank, that of principal ballerina, with the San Francisco troupe.

One of the three largest ballet companies in the United States, San Francisco Ballet has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic "firsts" since it was founded in 1933.

Besides "Swan Lake," the company performed the first American production of "Nutcracker," as well as the first production of "Coppelia" choreographed by an American.

Guided in its early years by American dance pioneers and brothers Lew, William and Harold Christensen, San Francisco Ballet currently presents more than 100 performances a year both at home and abroad.

Under the direction of Tomasson for more than two decades, the company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world.

In 2005, San Francisco Ballet won a prestigious Laurence Olivier Award, its first, in the category of "Outstanding Achievement in Dance," and a year later, was the first non-European company elected "Company of the Year" in Dance Europe magazine's annual readers' poll.

Last year, San Francisco Ballet celebrated its 75th anniversary with a host of initiatives that included a New Works Festival of 10 world premieres by 10 renowned choreographers. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Tomasson's tenure with the company.

Date: September 22-25, 7:15pm

Address: 300 People's Ave

Tickets: 180-880 yuan

Tel: 6216-5510, 400-620-6006


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend