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China's Liaoning Ballet presents Mulan debut in NYC

(Xinhua)    16:10, August 24, 2019

NEW YORK, Aug. 24 -- China's Liaoning Ballet troupe's debut of its original Mulan was presented here at Lincoln Center Friday night with a brand-new interpretation of the well-known Chinese heroine.

Featuring a nice blend of the traditional Western form of art and a famous Chinese story, Mulan, with top-tier ballet skills, excellent choreography, and splendid stage and costume design, amazed some 2,000 spectators at the David H. Koch Theater. Many Chinese elements, such as Kung Fu and Chinese folk dance moves, added to the ballet a unique and authentic taste.

"It's my first time seeing Chinese ballet, and I think it's great. I love the last scene, the war scene. It's very emotional and dramatic," said a viewer who called herself Yuliya.

The show's biggest selling point for Western audience is Mulan herself, a Chinese heroine who replaced her ailing father's place in the army by disguising herself as man some 1,600 years ago. She has been a household name in the United States since 1998, when a namesake Disney animated film became the seventh-highest-grossing film of the year and made Mulan a role model for thousands of girls.

Ben, who grew up watching the Disney version of Mulan, said the ballet does justice to the character he loves.

"You can tell the actors and dancers all put a lot of work into the ballet," he said. "I think it really embodies what it means to be Chinese. And it's really a great display of bravery and courage."

Established in 1980, Liaoning Ballet stands out as one of the top five ballet companies in China. It has been dedicated in original Chinese ballet productions and its members have won numerous awards home and abroad throughout the decades.

Yu Chuanya, who plays Mulan in the show, told Xinhua that it has been the most challenging role in her career so far. "I have to demonstrate her softness as a woman and valiancy as a soldier at the same time."

"I wish American audience could get to know more of our culture and civilization through the show," said the 29-year-old lead ballerina of Liaoning Ballet.

After running four times in Lincoln Center, Liaoning Ballet will bring Mulan to several other cities in the United States and Canada during its one-month North America tour.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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