Royal Ballet pirouettes to China

'Manon,' 'Sleeping Beauty' playing in Beijing

BEIJING — The Royal Ballet will tour China for five weeks this summer, performing Kenneth MacMillan’s “Manon” and Monica Mason and Christopher Newton’s “The Sleeping Beauty” at the opening of the Cultural Olympiad in Beijing.

Alongside these two full-length ballets, the Royal Ballet will also perform a number of mixed works including Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma,” excerpts from Frederick Ashton’s “Sylvia” and Marius Petipa’s “Don Quixote” as well as a recreation of Ashtong’s “Homage to the Queen.”

The Royal Ballet also will travel to Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Ballet is one of the most popular Western art forms in China and the country’s National Ballet has an excellent reputation, having learned much from the Russians during the Cold War. It remains popular as there is no language barrier to dance.

“It is a particular pleasure to be returning to China, where audiences are discerning and knowledgeable about ballet and have such a deep appreciation of their own traditional art forms,” said Mason, director of the Royal Ballet, in a televised address to a news conference in Beijing’s recently opened National Theater.

“This shared passion for dance is a wonderful way of developing relationships between our two countries,” she said.

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