Ballets for Christmas

Shanghai Star. 2003-12-11

By Crystal Zou

THE Christmas show season is the time regular theatre-goers expect to enjoy at least one of their favourite ballets, such as the "Nutcracker".

The Shanghai Grand Theatre this year has invited the National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre (NABBT) of the Republic of Belarus to perform three classic ballets for the city's dance lovers: "Romeo and Juliet", "Swan Lake", and the "Nutcracker".

The NABBT is the cradle of the former Byelorussian Ballet. The theatre was founded in 1933 as the first-ever grand theatre in the western Russian province, then part of the Soviet Union. The aim was to create ballet with Byelorussian national characteristics.

The first national ballet to be staged in the theatre was "Nightingale" in 1940 with choreography by A. Jermolajev and music by M. Kroshner from the novel by Z. Biadulia.

In the next stage of the ballet company's development, all the Tchaikovsky ballets - "Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Nutcracker" - were staged.

In the modern era of the theatre the dancers are following the creative choreography of Valentin Yelizariev, the current art director, and their performances have become "the visiting card" of the company both abroad and in Belarus.

Yelizariev's inclination to convey complicated philosophical problems and to present events in their historical perspective makes his work stand out from that of his peers.

Ballet lovers say that the staging of "Romeo and Juliet" will be the most spectacular performance of the three ballets to be shown in Shanghai. Yelizariev re-choreographed the ballet last year from his first creation of it in 1989.

The 2002 version has already won high praise in Europe and the Shanghai performance will be the ballet's Asian premiere.

Romeo and Juliet, 7:15pm

December 19-20

Swan Lake, 7:15pm

December 21-23

Nutcracker, 7:15 pm

December 24-25

100-500 yuan

Tel: 6372-8701, 6372-8702

Copyright by Shanghai Star.