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Swan Lake with a G20 twist
   2016-09-05 17:05:09    Chinadaily.com.cn/CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Fei Fei

Swan Lake with a G20 twist [Photo: Xinhua]

Extracts from the famous Russian ballet, Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, wowed world leaders and their spouses, in Hangzhou for the G20 Summit.

The romantic backdrop for the musical gala was the historic West Lake with the ballerinas performing on a submerged floating platform, giving the impression of dancing on water.

There was spontaneous applause as the first performer appeared, and then multiplied into a line of dancers, thanks to the latest holographic techniques.

A pianist performs Clair de Lune [Photo:Xinhua]

Apart from Swan Lake, the gala included another Western classic, Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune, and several pieces of Chinese traditional music.

Themed 'Most Memorable Is Hangzhou,' the 45-minute visual extravaganza highlighted the city's rich cultural legacy, as well as incorporated international elements that subtly reflected the state of today's globalization.

The evening was billed as a symphony concert, using a musical idiom that director Zhang Yimou chose for its broadly international resonance.

Traditional Chinese instruments woven in with the sounds of an orchestra suggesting a marriage of East-meets-West, reflecting exchanges in other areas.

Dancers at the gala [Photo: Xinhua]

The classic Chinese piece, High Mountains and Flowing Waters, highlighted the natural scenery. They were used by ancient Chinese writers to denote friendship, and its inclusion in the program was an obvious nod towards the partnerships being formed by events such as this summit.

The opening numbers, however, were rooted in local narratives. Spring River in the Flower Moon Night originated from a Tang Dynasty (618-907) poem, which over the years has evolved into a well-loved music and dance piece.

Picking Tea Leaves dancers at the gala [Photo: Xinhua]

Picking Tea Leaves is a folk song, and the tale of the Butterfly Lovers, was partly set in Hangzhou.

This story alone could have filled the whole evening in various art forms.

Filmmaker Zhang is famed for masterminding many renowned stage spectacles, including the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Dancers at the gala [Photo: Xinhua]

In comparison to his previous presentations, the West Lake show was more subdued and graceful, reaching its climax with Beethoven's Ode to Joy, with dancers mimicking dancing fountains. The evening was rounded off with a spectacular fireworks display.

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