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The Sleeping Beauty.

To wake up The Sleeping Beauty in China has been a forty-year dream of ballet dancers here. Finally, in a run of five nights by Central Ballet of China, Aurora was awakened by Florimund with a magical kiss in Beijing.

The company's repertoire of evening-length ballets--which includes Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, Giselle, Don Quixote, Sylvia, Romeo and Juliet, Red Detachment of Women, New Year's Sacrifice, and Lin Dai-Yu--was expanded thanks to a donation of three million yuan (about $300,000) from the Changjiang Enterprise Company. This paradigm of classical ballet was staged by Monica Parker, the British Benesh choreologist, for more than one hundred people wearing more than two hundred and seventy costumes.

Li Yan, a bronze medalist at the Moscow International Ballet Competition in 1989, created a tender princess with sweet lyricism and extraordinary coordination, while Xu Gang, an awardee at the children's ballet competition in Lausanne in 1985, won the hearts of the audience with his noble manner and beautiful line. They performed the Grand Pas de Deux in Act III perfectly, particularly its signature fish dive.

In an alternate cast, Jiang Mei danced Aurora with more passion and a stronger technique, and Liang Jing interpreted Florimund as a bright and clean-cut young man. Nevertheless, the hottest star was Chen Jian-guo, who garnered most of the applause for his solo in the Bluebird Pas de Deux.

In sharp contrast, the corps de ballet's performance displeased the audience on the first three nights. (Unison was improved during the final two performances.) It is the ensemble, of course, rather than a few stars, however brilliant, which gives the most complete picture of a ballet company.

Promoted by the entire press in Beijing, ballet fever surged in this metropolitan city of twelve million people. All five performances were sold out.
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Title Annotation:International Theater, Poly Plaza, Beijing, China
Author:Ou Jian-ping
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Sep 1, 1995
Words:299
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