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National Ballet of China performance to celebrate handover anniversary

The internationally renowned National Ballet of China (NBC) will return to Hong Kong next month with two productions to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Featuring well known classical ballet "Le Corsaire" on Thursday and Friday, June 28 and 29 and the Chinese ballet "The Red Detachment of Women" on Sunday, July 1, the performances will be at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre at 7.30pm, with live music by the National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra.

Inspired by a poem by Lord Byron, "Le Corsaire" is an oriental fantasy about bravery and love featuring Turkish and Arabic elements. "The Red Detachment of Women" has been a classic since its premiere in 1964. The story is about how a poor peasant girl joins the Red Army and becomes a revolutionary heroine in the 30s.

The National Ballet of China, the only national ballet company in China, was founded in 1959. While introducing classical, modern and different styles of ballet to Chinese audiences, the company combines the art of classical ballet and Chinese culture, creating ballets representing the Chinese spirit. During its first decade, Russian ballet artists and teachers from the former USSR brought the training methodology of the Russian Ballet School, and they helped the company stage several classical ballet masterpieces.

Thanks to the contribution by generations of Chinese ballet artists, the company has produced a large variety of ballets with Chinese characteristics. "The Red Detachment of Women" and "Raise the Red Lantern" have become successful samples of synthesising classical ballet and Chinese culture.

As a Chinese cultural ambassador, the company has visited Italy, France, Demark, Russia, Britain and the USA, winning international acclaim and making the NBC one of the major ballet companies of the world.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, tickets priced at $480, $360, $240 and $120 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will be a maximum of 20% off for group booking. Please refer to the programme leaflets for details.

Programme enquiries, call 2268 7323 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at .

Ends/Tuesday, May 15, 2007

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