The National Ballet of China will bring its masterwork “The Peony Pavilion” to Saratoga Performing Arts Center for three performances July 21 and 22.
The ballet is an adaptation of the classic Chinese play and opera, written in 1598, about a love that transcends death. Choreographed by Fei Bo with music composed by Guo Wenjing, the piece is been described as China’s “Romeo and Juliet,” an ageless romantic story.
The National Ballet of China is touring with its full orchestra, The National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra, and will be at Lincoln Center in New York City July 8-12.
“Perhaps best known to American audiences as the group which performed for President Nixon on his historic visit to China in 1972, The National Ballet of China has achieved a well-earned reputation as a truly world-class dance company with spectacular performances of original ballets and distinct interpretations of traditional masterworks from the classical repertoire,” SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia J. White said in a press release.
Founded in December 1959, The National Ballet of China fuses classical and modern styles to present works bearing its distinct national characteristics. Schooled in the Russian ballet tradition, the company is known worldwide for its adaptations of Western classics including “Swan Lake,” “Don Quixote” and “Giselle” as well as original ballets including “The Red Detachment of Women,” “Raise the Red Lantern” and “The Peony Pavilion.”
Wenjing’s original score to “Peony” has references to Debussy, Holst, Ravel and Prokofiev; the costumes are by Academy Award–winning designer Emi Wada.
“Building on last year’s successful production of Don Quixote by the Bolshoi Ballet, which dazzled audiences with its breathtaking athleticism and technique, in 2015 SPAC continues to bring innovative programming to our stage through this engagement with The National Ballet of China,” White said. “We are especially pleased with the variety of dance programming we will offer our audiences this summer, with the celebrated National Ballet of China and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company joining our heralded resident company New York City Ballet during a spectacular summer of music and dance here in Saratoga.”
Performances of The National Ballet of China at SPAC will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 21; and at 2 p.m and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22. Tickets will be available at spac.org, with a SPAC member presale beginning March 3 and the general public onsale beginning March 24.
The SPAC box office will open for the season for in-person and phone sales on Friday, May 15 at 12 p.m.