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Feature: Chinese Culture Series launched in Canada with ballet performance

2013-03-01 11:06:20



The National Ballet of China made its Canadian west coast debut Wednesday night before a nearly full house of audience at the 2,700-seat Queen Elizabeth Theater.

The acclaimed troupe performed Tchaikovsky's classic Swan Lake here after their sold-out shows of Raise the Red Lantern in Montreal last week.

The audience was amazed by the grace, beauty and technical skill of the performers in their interpretation of the famed story.

The visit by the National Ballet of China marked the start of the Chinese Cultural Series activities in Canada to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

A followup action of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 2012 visit to China year, the series include Chinese performances in music, dance and drama, as well as exhibitions and seminars, among others, being held in major Canadian cities through 2014.

In return, Canadians will stage similar activities in China.

Feng Ying, the National Ballet of China artistic director, told a pre-show press conference that how surprised the company was by the warm response of Quebec audiences.

"Since the first performance in Montreal, we have been greatly touched by Canadian audience's appreciation for our performances," said the former ballerina great.

"I was so excited and deeply touched by the vibrating atmosphere when we received a standing ovation from the audience of 3,000 at the end of the first performance."

Liu Fei, the Chinese Consul General in Vancouver said after the opening show that the visit would allow local people to gain a deeper understanding into China's rich cultural history.

Don Lindsay, head of mining giant Teck Resources that sponsors the show, said the event was not just about dance, but also celebrating the friendship between the two countries.

"And because that kind of relationship is so important to the cultural and economic fabric of the two nations that's why we're pleased to play a role in bringing the National Ballet of China to Canada."

The National Ballet of China' s performances of Swan Lake run through Saturday in Vancouver.