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En pointe, cultural openness in China


14:58, November 10, 2012

Hungarian-American ballet master Tamas Detrich was deeply moved by the passion of Chinese audiences gathering at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) on Friday night in the heart of Beijing.

Detrich and his elite Stuttgart Ballet brought a graceful tenderness to the Chinese, performing "The Lady of the Camellias," a ballet adapted from Alexandre Dumas' masterpiece.

"The theater is remarkably magnificent," Detrich, the troupe's associate artistic director, spoke of the half egg-shaped surrealistic architecture designed by French architect Paul Andreu. "China is changing, both in architecture and diversifying cultural forms."

Zhao Ruheng, artistic director of NCPA, recalled, "Stuttgart was the first ballet company that came from the West after China ended the self-isolation and opted for embracing the outside world."

"The Stuttgart show immediately brought us a totally different enjoyment. We were so impressed at that time," said Zhao, who starred in a well-known revolution-themed ballet, "Red Detachment of Women," in the 1960s. "We used to be familiar with 'Swan Lake.'"

Across the street from the NCPA building, a titanium-and-glass opera house nicknamed the Bird's Egg for its ellipsoid dome, stands the stately Romanesque Great Hall of the People, where the Communist Party of China (CPC) inaugurated the week-long 18th National Congress on Thursday morning.

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