Raise the Red Lantern

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Ballet in three acts with direction by Zhang Yimou, choreography by Wang Xinpeng and Wang Yuanyuan, music by Chen Qigang, designs by Zeng Li (sets) and Jérome Kaplan (costumes). Premiered by the National Ballet of China at Tianqiao Theatre, Beijing on 2 May 2001 with Zhu Yan, Zhang Jian, and Wang Qimin. Based on Zhang Yimou's 1991 film of the same title, it tells the story of a young woman in 1930s China who is forced to become the concubine of a wealthy mandarin. Meeting with her childhood lover she is spied upon by her master's first concubine. The latter's betrayal brings about a sentence of death for both women, but their shared moment of forgiveness offers an image of love and reconciliation surviving the evils of oppression. With its stylistic mix of Western dance and classical Peking opera, the ballet became one of the National Ballet of China's most popular works, nationally and internationally.

Subjects: Dance.

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