Ballet in the People’s Republic has blossomed in recent years, reaching new heights in its shift from left to centre stage.
The National Ballet of China’s recent production The Peony Pavilion (牡丹亭 mudan ting) at the Arts Centre Melbourne is an example of the company’s most valued repertoire: original ballets which reflect Chinese culture and its uniqueness. Stylistically, The Peony Pavilion is highly contemporary, nuanced by global languages of dance and design. At the same time however the production retains the kind of nationalistic sentiment that characterises much of the history of ballet in modern China. In this way, China’s leading ballet company – viewed as a pioneer in a growing field – successfully blends creative and ideological practices.