Ballet "Red Detachment of Women" by National Ballet of China
Venue: Huang Hua Gang Theatre
Time: 2008-06-22, 23
Performed by National Ballet of China
Ballet The Red Detachment of Women was premiered by National ballet of China in Sept.26, 1964. It is the first and most successful full-length Chinese ballet, with both the theme and content reflecting a very unique Chinese style. The dancers even lived for months in military camps to learn swordplay in order to portray the soldiers vividly on stage.
Since its birth, the ballet has been highly acclaimed for its moving and tragic plot, magnificent stage design, and graceful choreography. Its music, undoubtedly, also contributes a lot to the ballet's success and popularity.
It is said that The Red Detachment of Women was a prelude to the exertions of Chinese ballet artists trying to establish a Chinese identity using an essentially foreign art form. The piece has been hailed as a model of the successful combination of Western ballet technique with Chinese folk dancing.
It depicts a woman's journey into the People's Liberation Army. The story comes from the 1930s in China's southernmost Hainan Island. Wu Qionghua, the female lead, flees her home and joins the local Red Army troop, gradually becoming an outstanding soldier with the Red Detachment of Women. Instead of weak, fragile women dressed in fluttery tutus, women were depicted in military uniforms with rifles. Instead of frail motions, women had strong arms and clenched fists. This play shook the entire foundation of bourgeois art.