American Ballet Theater to kick off its Asian tour in Shanghai


The American Ballet Theater is starting its Asian tour in Shanghai. This week, "Classic Old and New" and "Giselle" will be performed at the Shanghai Grand Theater as part of the China Shanghai International Arts Festival.

ABT brought "La Bayadère" to the Shanghai Grand Theater 23 years ago. The current artistic head of ABT, Susan Jaffee, was a dancer in that performance.

"We are so happy to be back," said Jaffee. "This is a great honor, as we are the first international ballet group to perform here in over three years' time."

Apart from a "pure and classic" version of "Giselle," ABT has prepared a special set program titled "Classic Old and New" for the Shanghai audience. It consists of three pieces of "Piano Concerto No. 1" with Dmitri Shostakovich's music, "Petite Mort" and "Études."

The three dances, choreographed in 2009, 1991 and 1948 respectively, can be described as a brief history of the ballet.

"We will start with the very architectural, difficult and exciting 'Piano Concerto No. 1,' which is then followed by two very different programs," said Jaffee. "They will give full play to the techniques of our dancers."

Jaffee recalled her performance at the Shanghai Grand Theater 23 years ago.

"I remember that audiences here were very reserved during the performance, which made me a bit worried as I was not sure whether they liked my performance.

"Then, at the end of the dance, they showed so much appreciation and joy. I'm going to remind my dancers about this," she said.

The Shanghai Opera House Orchestra will provide live music for "Classic Old and New." ABT will also organize a dance workshop and open training sessions during their time in Shanghai.

From left: Shanghai Grand Theater general manager Zhang Xiaoding, ABT principal dancer Isabella Boylston, ABT artistic director Susan Jaffe, ABT principal dancer Herman Cornejo and ABT dancer Fang Zhongjing, who is from Shanghai.

(By Ma Yue Source: SHINE   Editor: Wang Qingchu)