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Geneva Grand Theater Ballet come to Shanghai

Reporter: Song Wenjing 丨 CCTV.com

04-28-2016 09:44 BJT

In Shakespeare's day, all the theatre roles were played by male actors, even Juliet. Now, the Geneva Grand Theater Ballet is remaining faithful to this tradition in its dance version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. They performed at the Shanghai Grand Theater over the weekend.

'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is one of Shakespeare's most popular works. The comedy is about fairies playing a trick on four young Greek lovers and a group of actors. The Geneva Grand Theater production condensed the play's complex plot into an 80-minute modern ballet, while still maintaining its themes and spirit. The troupe's ballet master calls it a fairytale for adults, one filled with both weirdness and emotional depth.

"How it talks about the relationship between human beings and finding each other and coming together, and how magical fairy tale can be transcended into this day and age, as well as it was 400 days ago. Part of humanity and being human," said Grant Aris, Ballet Master in Geneva Grand Theater Ballet.

In addition, the choreographer cast male dancers in female roles, the practice in Shakespeare's lifetime.

"The choreographer wants to keep that little touch from the era the 16th-century Elizabethan time, when Queen Elizabeth the First forbade women to be on stage. So for Shakespeare to still explain the story, he dressed men as women. So we could still identify it. Juliet was played by a man in the original version. This is the reason why," said Grant Aris.

The ballet's music includes works from 19th-century German composer Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn's original incidental music for the play lasted only 30 minutes, which was insufficient for a ballet. The producers chose another piece of the same composer as a supplement, which helped contribute to the two-part ballet show. All tickets have been sold out. Following Shanghai, the performance will go to Beijing,

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