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Acrobatic Swan Lake conquers Royal Opera House
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An innovative acrobatic rendition of Swan Lake from China won the hearts of the critical elite on Tuesday night at the pretigeous Royal Opera House at London's Covent Garden, with a full house plus audiences bravoing, whistling and applauding for its spectacular first night appearance.

Dancers of the Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe perform during a press preview of the Chinese Acrobatic Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House in central London on August 5, 2008. The ballet runs at the Royal Opera House until August 10. [CFP] 

"Incredible" and "wonderful" were general comments from audiences who felt reluctant to leave after the breathtakingly entertaining Swan Lake makeover which combines classical ballet with traditional acrobatics, turning ballet on its head.

In the fresh adaptation of Swan Lake performed by the Guangdong Acrobatic Company, a European prince falls in love with swan in his dream. He then searches far and wide, from Egypt to Thailand, before finally finds her in China. In the course of his adventurous pursuit accompanied by male clowns that at one time dressed as little swans, the prince encounters marvelous acrobatic talents such as pole balancing, ball walking, hat and ball juggling and jujitsu and magic.

The most amazing spectacle for viewers was to see white swan dancing on high wire and en pointe on top of the Price's head and shoulders. Four little frogs jumping and dancing on their arms to the renowned tune of four little swans brought great amusement and admiration from the floor.

"I like the little frogs. That's great acrobatics," said a man writing theater column for a Catholic Tribune, adding that "It's a good year for China, with so many high-quality theaters, films, exhibitions and shows staged in Britain."

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