Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swan Lake Like You've Never Seen It

Enclosed is a link to a brief movie - showing a portion of the ballet of Swan Lake performed by the Chinese State Circus - as you've never seen it before. Enjoy.


1 comment:

  1. When I saw China's National Ballet in Beijing, I noticed that whenever they tried to perform (parts of) classical European ballets, something was missing in their body language. When they performed any choreography made IN China, BY Chinese, they were great. But when they tried to do classical European moves, they were mediocre and something was just missing.

    Throughout my years in China I often wondered about the significance of Chinese body language, which seemed, to me, to accord with their (to me) very alien way of thinking and speaking.
    (And no, by "thinking" I do NOT mean "ideology".) The Chinese mind tends to have (from my perspective) a meandering, un-centred, unfocused quality and a habit of never sitting still in one place. (I know that sounds contrary to the stereotype of the "contemplative" Chinese sage - but they contemplate in very different ways to ours. Even their way of "sitting still" involves some constant motion, which is very disconcerting to a Teutonic mind and body like mine.)

    As I used to belong to a nationally champion marching band (in high school) - and one which consisted mostly of ethnic Germans (and was champion for that reason!) - I can tell you that even the elites of the Peoples Liberation Army look like sad sacks when they're on parade - at least from a Germanic perspective, they seem to me to have very undisciplined body language.

    But then I guess that makes them more flexible in other ways, and thus equal to Westerners as warriors, and as performing artists too. :-)


Isabel Van Fechtmann

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