From June 18th to the 28th, the Royal Opera House of UK will return to China's stage after an absence of ten years, and the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) will be the first stop on its 2008 China tour. During the one week long performance, the Royal Ballet of the opera house will present three of its best works in Beijing, and will then perform in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
In order to make the programs appealing to Beijing, the ROH and NCPA short-listed its menu to include the classic pieces, The Sleeping Beauty, Manon, and a Ballet Gala. Mr. Tony Hall, chief executive of the ROH explained.
"People know Sleeping beauty, it's a classic story that lots of people around the world know. But you know, that's not all Royal ballet does, so equally in the program, we want to make sure that people in Beijing see some other really good pieces, Manon is a compelling story. Ballet is like other art forms, it also looks forward. So it's very important for royal ballet to do something very contemporary and exciting, perhaps rather than usual, and maybe not what people's expecting, but I think they will be impressed by, and that's what Chroma (one piece in ballet gana) is."
Also, as an experienced ballet dancer in China, Zhao Ruheng, artistic director for NCPA as well as Head of the National Ballet of China, highly recommends Manon. What's more, she has contributed to bringing Manon to Beijing.
"Talking about the program, originally, Manon was not going to be performed in Beijing but in Shanghai. Through my personal effort I have made it possible here in Beijing. It's quiet easy for us to view classic ones like Swan Lake, but in fact Manon is also one of the representative works, not only in terms of its music and choreography, but also in terms of its performance."