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Chinese acrobatic ballet Swan Lake applauded
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Wandering by the lake in a forest, a beautiful girl is suddenly taken away by a ferocious black hawk and is turned into a white swan. A prince, who dreamed of her horrible experience , embarked on a long, arduous journey to rescue her and finally gains her love.

"Swan Lake," a classic ballet which is familiar to Western audiences, has been interpreted by Chinese acrobatic artists into a new form, which received applause from the audience in Vienna.

The acrobatic ballet, performed by the Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe of China, gave two fantastic performances in Vienna Tuesday and Wednesday. The performances were held in the City Hall of Vienna with an average ticket price of 50 euros.

An official from City Hall told Xinhua that a total of 4,800 seats were prepared for the audience and all tickets for the shows quickly sold out, with an estimated 6,000 people coming to the show Wednesday.

"This show is great, and it won't let the audience down," he said.

Featuring Chinese cultural elements such as a Dragon boat, the Forbidden City and red lanterns, the stage design together with the colorful costumes and fantastic traditional Chinese acrobatic arts created incredibly brilliant scenes and successfully illustrated the classic love story.

Pianist Axel Zwingenberger told Xinhua the show was "one of the best performances" he had ever seen.

The performers displayed professional skills, and the combination of the eastern acrobatics and the Western ballet was "perfect," the pianist said, adding that "it (acrobatic ballet) is a quite smart idea, really lovely."

His comments represented those of the vast majority of the Vienna audience. Long-lasting applause and shouts of "bravo" could be heard after each section of the performance. Some audience members even went backstage and wanted to see those Chinese artists who "created such magical art."

Dr. Margareta Griessler, deputy director of the General Office of the Vienna Government, also praised the performance, saying "it is the perfect combination of eastern and western arts, it is really remarkable."

The Troupe had performed nearly 20 times during its tour to Western Europe and was warmly welcomed by audiences in Germany and Austria.

The Troupe will travel to Basel in Switzerland Thursday.

(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2008)

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