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          Dancers put new twist on a classic

          By Chen Nan | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-02-10 07:50
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          Ballet production of famous novel will give audiences a unique experience, Chen Nan reports.

          Dream of the Red Chamber, also known as A Dream of Red Mansions, written by Cao Xueqin during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is considered to be one of China's greatest novels. It chronicles the downfall of the wealthy and influential Jia family, and is set against the backdrop of social and political upheaval. There are hundreds of characters in the novel, including Lin Daiyu, a beautiful and sentimental young woman, who moves into her grandmother's family — the Jia family — after the death of her mother. There, she meets numerous relatives for the first time, one of whom is Jia Baoyu, her mother's nephew, a rebellious and pampered young man.

          When Lin and Jia fall in love with each other, they have to face the fact that the family prefers Xue Baochai, one of Jia's cousins, to be his future wife. Jia and his ill-fated love interest, Lin, are destined by fate to be apart.

          The novel has been adapted into a lavish new ballet production by the National Ballet of China, which will have its world premiere at Tianqiao Theater in Beijing on Friday, with performances to be staged until Feb 18.

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