Shanghai Ballet Makes Houston Debut with THE BUTTERFLY LOVERS Tonight
Direct from China, the Shanghai Ballet will make its Houston debut with its full-length production of The Butterfly Lovers, tonight, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. in Jones Hall, presented by Society for the Performing Arts.
For more than three decades, Shanghai Ballet has dazzled international audiences with its unique repertoire of folk-infused Chinese ballet and classical Western masterworks. Houston audiences will be treated to the "Romeo and Juliet" of Chinese folklore-a poignant love story that dates to the Tang Dynasty.
Under the direction of Artistic Director Xin Lili, The Butterfly Lovers is the story of Liang and Zhu who meet at school. Zhu has disguised herself as a man and falls in love with Liang, but he is unaware that she loves him - or that she is actually a woman. Through their travels Liang discovers the truth and they fight against an arranged marriage for Zhu, to stay together. The ballet follows the young couple's ill-fated romance through elegant choreography, splendid costumes and evocative sets depicting the natural-and supernatural-worlds.
The Shanghai Ballet was formally named in 1979 following great success of The White-Haired Girl, a classical Chinese ballet that helped establish the Company's predominant position in the international ballet world. The Company's repertoire also includes the classics Swan Lake (Derek Deane), Coppelia (Pierre Lacotte), La Sylphide (Jean-Paul Gravier), The Nutcracker (Tetsutaro Shimizu), Romeo and Juliet (Derek Deane), Serenade (George Balanchine), along with modern pieces as The Imagination of Red, Fébrile and Conversation with Chopin.
Over the years, the Company has received numerous awards at various international dance competitions. The team of current principal dancers includes Fan Xiaofeng, Sun Shenyi, Ji Pingping, Chen Zhenrong, Yu Xiaowei, and Chen Yan, as well as rising stars Wu Husheng, Wang Ya'nan, Duan Wenfei and Zhang Yao.