dance troupes

dance troupes
Dance troupes in China consist of three kinds of groups: ballets concentrating on an artistic form which originated in the West; companies, such as the Oriental Song and Dance Company (Dongfang gewu tuan), focusing on both Chinese and foreign folk arts of song and dance; and a great number of troupes popular in China, featuring the performances of dance in modern and traditional style. With many nationalities and minorities living in different places in China, troupes of dance that embody diverse Chinese national flavours have been established as professional artistic organizations at the levels of the country, province, district, city as to county.
China Central Ballet and Shanghai Ballet are well known not only in China but also in the world. China Central Ballet, the ballet at Chinese national level, was established in 1959. The eminent ballet dancer Dai Ailian made a considerable contribution to its organization. The Ballet cherishes the tradition of classical ballets, of which the performances of famous Russian works such as Swan Lake and Giselle have laid a solid foundation for its development. The renowned programmes of the troupe also include George Balanchine’s Serenade, Kenneth MacMillan’s Concerto as well as Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet and The Last Four Songs. On the other hand, the artists of the Ballet care about depicting Chinese people’s life with this Western artistic form. Their creations, such as The Red Detachment of Women, The New-Year Sacrifice and Lin Daiyu based on modern and classical Chinese stories, have been in the repertoire of the Ballet.
Shanghai Ballet was named in 1979, achieving instant fame with the performance of The White Haired Girl. In addition to classical ballets, the troupe also created the ballets Thunderstorm, based on Cao Yu’s play, and Regret for the Past, originally a Lu Xun story. The ballet dancers Wang Qifeng, Yang Xinhua, Tang Min and Zhang Weiqiang have won awards in international ballet competitions.
In terms of performing Chinese national dances, the China National Song and Dance Ensemble, the Chinese Opera and Dance Theatre, and the China Central Song and Dance Troupe of Minorities are influential. The Out of China Central Song and Dance Company was set up in China in 1952, and won first awards for Locus Dance, Peacock Dance and so on in international dance competitions. The dance group of the China National Song and Dance Ensemble is famous for performing Chinese national and folk dances. Established in the 1950s, the Chinese Opera and Dance Theatre has had a good reputation in its programmes of dance drama on a big scale, such as Princess Wencheng and Dreams of Red Mansions. Inheriting and developing the tradition of the colourful art of song and dance of minorities, the China Central Song and Dance Troupe of Minorities has performed a great number of dances with various artistic styles and has fostered more than 400 professional performers from different minorities for other troupes. Local troupes of provinces and autonomous regions—Xinjiang, Xizang, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Ningxia, Yunnan and so on—provide song and dance programmes with the particular national flavour of the minorities of Uygur, Zang, Meng, Zhuang, Hui, Bai, and so forth.
See also: Wuju

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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