W020171201477813149544.png This is SBT's first European tour since its founding ten years ago.
SBT created Romeo and Juliet in 2016, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Showing great originality, it was soon designated by the Chinese government as a project for cultural dissemination and exchange under the support of China National Arts Fund.
According to Li Ying, SBT's art director, the incorporation of Chinese and western elements is the biggest highlight of the ballet, which is expected to help the European audiences gain a better understanding of Chinese culture in the story that they are quite familiar with.
 
SBT stages Romeo and Juliet in Europe
This is SBT's first European tour since its founding ten years ago.
 
SBT created Romeo and Juliet in 2016, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death. Showing great originality, it was soon designated by the Chinese government as a project for cultural dissemination and exchange under the support of China National Arts Fund.
 
According to Li Ying, SBT's art director, the incorporation of Chinese and western elements is the biggest highlight of the ballet, which is expected
to help the European audiences gain a better understanding of Chinese culture in the story that they are quite familiar with.
 
"In addition, a series of lectures and salon sessions will be held to offer the local audiences a chance to learn about Chinese facial makeup in operas, the connection of the Mid-Autumn Festival with the moon, the cucurbit art, traditional Chinese medicine and other Chinese cultural ingredients," Li added.
 
 Highlights
 
Chinese ballet fascinates French audiences
Romeo and Juliet, the modern ballet adapted by SBT from William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name, was staged at Theatre Andre Malraux, Paris, France, on Nov 3 and 4 (local time), receiving high praise from the audiences. It is the first leg of SBT's nine-city tour in Europe.
 
"It is gorgeous! I like the Chinese elements in the performance, such as the facial makeups and the folding fans. The costumes are very beautiful, too," said Marion, who watched the performance together with
his girlfriend. "It is the most romantic Romeo and Juliet I've ever watched," he added.
 
Based on audacious re-creation and perfect integration of Chinese and western elements, the performances presented distinctive differences from traditional theatrical representation of the widely known story, with a seat occupancy of over 90% each.
 
 
SBT ballet causes huge stir in Europe
Representatives of media such as People's Daily, The European Times, Radio France and De Telegraaf watched SBT's performances in Paris on Nov 3 and 4 (local time).
 
"It is an elaborately devised performance by very professional dancers. What I saw in it are innovation and advance instead of imitation and reproduction. European audiences like differences. So, it will be surely a blockbuster in the rest of the tour," said Barbara Molendijk, a senior
Dutch media professional who had watched the performance in Suzhou one month before.
 
The performances also attracted many Chinese in Paris. Zhuang Tingting, a Jiangsu-born woman who has been living in Paris for more than 10 years, watched the ballet together with her husband and child. "I'm very excited and proud to see such a marvelous ballet from my hometown staged in Paris,” Zhuang said. “It is creative and easy to understand. I will recommend it to my friends," her husband added.
 
 
SBT ballet: a bridge between European audiences and Chinese culture
Li Ying, SBT's art director, talked about ballet Romeo and Juliet in an interview during the trip to Europe.
 
"The biggest highlight of the ballet is the incorporation of western and Chinese elements, especially those marking the regions south of the Yangtze River of China. It is expected that this will help European audiences gain a better understanding of Chinese culture in the story
that they are quite familiar with. In addition, a series of lectures and salon sessions will be held to showcase the charm and essence of related Chinese culture to the local audiences," said Li.
 
"When I was watching, I felt like I was part of the play, not just an audience. The performance opened a door for European people to get close to traditional Chinese culture amidst the famous story, music and dance art," a local audience said.
 
 
SBT does its bit in making Chinese ballets globally renowned
This is SBT's first European tour since its founding ten years ago, though it has staged a number of its original ballets overseas, such as Carmen in Poland, Xi Shi in Singapore and The Nutcracker in Arab countries. Thanks to these performances overseas, both SBT and Chinese ballets are enjoying an increasingly higher reputation in the world.
 
SBT was founded in 2007 as the only professional ballet troupe in Jiangsu province. With at least one original work produced each year,
SBT strives to play a bigger role in the ballet circles home and abroad as well as help the overseas audiences understand Chinese ballets better.
 
Romeo and Juliet, adapted in 2010 from William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name, shoulders the same mission. Boasting innovative adaption and ingenious combination of Chinese and western elements, it is showcasing Chinese culture and art to the Europeans based on the story that is widely known in their culture.