Culture Beat: NBC symphonic ballet opens new season
Published: Nov 19, 2023 09:58 PM
Promotional material for <em>Ode to Joy: Star Seas</em> Photo: Courtesy of NBC

Promotional material for Ode to Joy: Star Seas Photo: Courtesy of NBC

NBC symphonic ballet opens new season     

Choreographed by the National Ballet of China (NBC), the symphonic ballet Ode to Joy: Star Seas recently debuted in Beijing from Friday to Sunday. 

The program opened the 6th China International Ballet Season. Drawing upon the music of Beethoven for inspi-ration, the show interweaves the main rhythm of his Symphony No. 9 in D minor throughout the performance. 

Engaging more than 200 ballet dancers, the performance is sure to please fans of classic music since the ballet program is enriched with symphonic and choral music. 

The presentation of the ballet includes a creative twist of Chinese music aesthetics. Feng Ying, the chief director and producer of the show, told the media that this work aims at "promoting world peace and development" through music. 

Behind the stage, costume designers spent many days and nights experimenting with ways to create the best aesthetic presentation. Yue Songshan, the show's costume designer, said that in order to create a "primitive" and "close to nature" ambiance in the show's first chapter, the team tried to use brown, green and ecru fabric to cater to the theme.  

"The final chapter depicts a scene in which the performers, hand in hand, head toward a great future. It focuses on hope, so we used a lot of diamonds on the costume; they are stars of hope," said the designer.  

Thai musical depicts love story in Beijing

Weaving several popular songs from Thai music legend Bird Thongchai, a Chinese adaptation of a popular musical from Thailand, Love You…Much, was recently staged at the Poly Theatre in Beijing. 

The musical depicts the life-long story of a couple. It shows how their relationship changes throughout the different stages of their lives. 

The entire performance has a retro feel since the story takes place in Thailand from the 1970s to the 2000s. 

In order to better cater to Chinese audiences, the musical also incorporates several Chinese songs such as "Hello Goodbye" by singer Alan Tam. 

The lead performers of the show include Chinese singer Shen Xiaocen. Shen said that, as a singer, performing in a musical was quite a challenge for her since the musical "contains not only music, but also a story." 

She said that the major reason why the musical is so widely loved by many audiences is because it is "close to people's everyday life experience" and reveals the "pure love and kindness" shared by all of us. 

"All the music in the show is catchy and easy to follow, so it provides a good interactive ambiance," Shen said.