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Young talent shines at national ballet workshop

By Zhang Boning | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-16 10:27
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Dancers for the ballets Treasure of Memories rehearse for the upcoming eighth workshop of the National Ballet of China. The annual event that gives young choreographers an opportunity to design original ballet scenarios will include five new creations this year.[Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

As Schumann's Traumerei for cello and piano flows slowly and softly out of the speakers, a ballerina starts to dance with a white veil covering her head and face. The piece of cloth floats in the air when she, as if blinded, stretches her limbs and tries to reach a male dancer across the stage.

The ballet, I Owe My Father a Hug, is one of the five works created for the eighth workshop of the National Ballet of China in Beijing.

This annual workshop gives young choreographers an opportunity to design original ballet scenarios to showcase their talent.

This year, two of the works tell the stories of young people and their loved ones.

"The ballet shows the process by which the younger generations, who once didn't understand their parents, are learning to understand them," says Su Yang, the 25-year-old choreographer of the ballet.

Su was inspired by his own life experience to create the work. Raised by his mother alone, he used to feel uncomfortable staying with his estranged father. As a result, he only visited him when he went to his grandmother's home during Chinese New Year. But things changed when Su's grandmother passed away last year.

"At the funeral, I saw my father crying," says Su. "I put my hand on his shoulder and then I suddenly noticed that he was old."

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