The Scottish Ballet is now on a tour of China, its first in 17 years. On Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Beijing's Meilanfang Grand Theatre, the ballet presented their new productions of "Carmen" and "Pennies From Heaven".
The brand new Carmen retells the famous story of a hot-blooded gypsy whose wild spirit lures a young officer. After he falls obsessively in love, she spurns him for the glamour of a handsome toreador with tragic results.
It was created for the Scottish Ballet by one of the most inspiring and influential figures in British dance, Richard Alston.
Artistic director Ashley Page says the new Carmen differs previous versions in many ways.
Ashley premiered his brand new ballet, which borrows its title from Dennis Potter's acclaimed television drama "Pennies from Heaven".
Taking its cue from the music and cinema of the 1930s, the work is playful interpretation of a range of popular songs from the period with elegant designs steeped in vintage glamour.
Ashley says the Scottish Ballet has come up with many ways to combat shrinking audiences during the global economic recession.
The company's China tour was funded by the Scottish government. They've performed in Nanjing, Shanghai and Beijing.
(CCTV May 28, 2009)