Ruheng Zhao

(b. 1944)

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(b Feb. 1944)

Chinese dancer and director. She trained at the Beijing Dance Academy from 1955 and danced with the National Ballet of China from 1960, a year prior to her formal graduation. She was rapidly promoted to principal roles but in 1972 was injured and forced to retire from the stage. During the next two decades she studied languages but also continued working with NBC fostering its education and cultural exchanges. In 1993 she was appointed deputy director, and director the following year, since when she created a modern identity for the company—revitalizing its classical repertory, for example with a staging of Swan Lake by Makarova; commissioning Chinese works such as Raise The Red Lantern; and initiating collaborations, for example with Akram Khan on bahok (2008). Her interest in expanding the Chinese dance scene expanded when she additionally took over artistic direction of the Tianqiao Theatre and introduced seasons of Western companies such as Pina Bausch. She retired at the end of 2008.

Subjects: Dance.

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