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Giannina

The Last Emperor

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Hong Kong Ballet's "The Last Emperor", choreographed by Wayne Eagling, music by Su Cong, sets by Liu Yuan-Sheng, lighting by Tommy Wong, costumes by Wang Lin-Yu; Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.

Well, it wasn't all that bad. The ballet tells a HUGE story, just about impossible to rein in, and though it's plodding in parts Eagling has done what I consider a good job. The program offered no mention of the 3 lead women's roles nor who danced them, but since the company brought only 3 principal ballerinas you didn't have to think hard. Michael Wang dance the role of Pu Yi, the last emperor. His life is traced through political intrigue, revolutions, a beloved tutor, loveless marriages, drugs, imprisonment, The Red Detachment of Women forcryingoutloud, and finally freedom. Eagling's choreography moves the story along smoothly; the well trained dancers were lovely to watch. The unnamed ballerinas were especially noteworthy (Eriko Ochiai, Ayako Fujioka, Fei Leung). Company artistic director, Stephen Jefferies, effortlessly danced the role of the tutor; it was nice to see him again.

Giannina

[ 10-13-2001: Message edited by: Giannina Mooney ]

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Giannina, I am glad that you saw the company. I saw this ballet in 1997 when it was premiered in Hong Kong; I wasn't impressed at all with the choreography by Wayne Eagling or the dancing. It's really strange that there are no daily cast lists distributed to the audiences. I remember similar complaints when the company danced this ballet at New York City Center in 1998, and when they performed in Beijing this year.

[ 10-14-2001: Message edited by: Kevin Ng ]

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