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Music and dance ring in 2022 at Beijing's Poly Theater

By CHEN NAN | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-31 08:32

Conductor Huang Yi and musicians with the China Philharmonic Orchestra rehearse for the New Year Concert in Beijing. JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY

The China Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Ballet of China will perform a concert together at the Poly Theater in Beijing on Friday.

Titled Music Meets Ballet: 2022 New Year's Concert, it will feature a program highlighting ballet, including polonaise from the ballet Eugene Onegin, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Xu Gang, and excerpts of Swan Lake also composed by Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Pieces from the original Chinese ballet The Red Detachment of Women, which premiered in 1964 and is the first and one of the most successful full-length Chinese ballet productions, will also be performed.

A total of 28 ballet dancers from the National Ballet of China will participate in the concert.

"Classical music and ballet have an intimate relationship. They are actually inseparable, like twins. Many great composers wrote music for ballet, which have become classics," says conductor Huang Yi, who will wield the baton at the concert.

Dance of Porcelain, a ballet piece choreographed by Feng Ying, president of the National Ballet of China, set to the music of Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, "will offer a sense of joy to the audience during the New Year", Huang says.

In March 2011, the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Ballet of China worked together, performing L'Arlesienne and Carmen, two classic ballet pieces by French dancer and choreographer Roland Petit to music composed by Georges Bizet.

"It was an unforgettable show and excerpts of those two ballet pieces will be staged again during the concert, taking the audience back to that night in 2011," says Li Nan, president of the orchestra.

Li notes that since Dec 31, 2000, the orchestra has developed a tradition of giving a concert on the last day of the year.

"This year, we will have ballet dancers onstage performing with musicians of the orchestra, which will combine movement and music to tell great stories," says Li.

He adds that, during each New Year Concert, the orchestra performs new works and introduces new musicians to the audience. This year, pianist Yin Zhi will be invited to perform Andante Spianato Et Grande Polonaise Brillante in E-flat Major, Op 22 by Chopin.

The young pianist, who began playing at the age of 6, went to Russia in 2002. She studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 2005, where she graduated with a master's degree in 2010. In 2018, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Boston University, where she also worked as a teaching assistant of the piano department. Now she is teaching at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

It will be the first time Yin has performed with the China Philharmonic Orchestra.

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