Home » General » Chinese Troupe Captivates Celebration Centre

The Liaoning Ballet company lived up to its billing as one of the top international ballet schools after putting up a wonderful performance at Celebration Centre on Tuesday night.

The performance was the Zimbabwean leg of the Chinese and Foreign Countries Fine Works of Ballet South Africa and Zimbabwe Tour courtesy of the Chinese embassy and various associations of Chinese business people in Zimbabwe.

The programme was made up of 11 acts comprising classic western acts as well as Chinese specials. They were all executed with exacting skill and superb grace by the highly accomplished dancers.

They started off with a simplified version of La Sylphide in which James falls in love with the Sylph who toys with him as she leads him in a merry dance with the help of her sisters before finally coming to him.

The act billed as the “Modern men’s pas de deux – Tai Chi” was an interesting marriage of the martial arts and dance evoking memories of the Brazilian Capoeira.

Even without knowing the story line of the Chinese act “Chasing the moon in dreams” act the multi-ethnic audience was entranced and managed to go along with each emotional upheaval in the tale of the couple that was obviously painfully hunting an elusive vision.

The traditional Chinese all female Jasmine Flower act was also another highlight as the women dancers used their fans, costumes and lighting to create bursts of colour and movement that are totally different from the usual laid back scenery of classic western ballet staging.

The evening ended with the troupe’s interpretation of the Nutcracker in which the festive season was captured in the highly glamorous outfits and fast pace. The original story line was very loosely followed but the dancing kept the audience rapt right up to the last pirouette.

The show finally ended around 9.30 pm with the audience fully placated by the awesome performances. It had started with a hiccup when the full house was kept waiting for more than 30 minutes after 7 pm which was billed as the starting time.

It later became apparent that the delay was caused by the hosts waiting upon the arrival of Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Andrew Langa who was the guest of honour. The minister then insisted on reading a long speech to the restive audience who tried to clap him off the stage to no avail. The last two minutes of the minister’s oratory was drowned in catcalls and boos.

The China Liaoning Ballet left the crowds satisfied for the night but hungry for more such world class performances.

“It was a wonderful night. The dancing was just so perfect. We have come to expect only the best from the Chinese artists and I would never miss their shows,” said Jeannette Rushworth of Greendale. Rushworth said she is now waiting for the Night of Beijing a fiesta of performing and visual arts which has been held at the same venue for the past two years.

The show was also appreciated by first timers who realised what they have been missing.

“This was my first time to attend a ballet show and it was an eye opener. I had never classified myself as a person who would enjoy such things but I really loved it and would definitely want to see more. I think now I also appreciate classical music which I used to find like totally off before,” said Chido a 17- year-old from Avondale.

Source : The Herald