Atlanta Ballet will begin its upcoming season with a two-week tour to China—the first major international tour in more than 10 years for the 84-year-old company.
The ballet will join 11 other companies from around the world for China’s inaugural “International Ballet Season,” hosted by the National Ballet of China. Nineteen members of the Atlanta company will depart October 29 for the engagement, which will include seven performances at various venues throughout Beijing, China. Their return is scheduled for November 11.
As the sole representative from the United States, the company has designed a program called “Atlanta Ballet presents Dance from America” featuring the pas de deux from George Balanchine’s patriotic Stars and Stripes; Christopher Wheeldon’s neo-classical Rush; Atlanta Ballet resident choreographer Helen Pickett’s Prayer of Touch; and the wedding night pas de deux from Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly.
“We are honored to have the extraordinary opportunity to visit China and represent our city and state abroad,” said Atlanta Ballet artistic director John McFall. “The birth of this festival speaks volumes about the energy, enthusiasm, and vision of the Chinese dance community, and we are thrilled to be at the forefront of the movement. We are also looking forward to being a part of the rich exchange of ideas and culture. I’m positive that our time there will impact the company in profound ways, and it’s inspiring to know that we’ll be able to bring those experiences back to our patrons.”
For more information, visit www.atlantaballet.com/touring.
Yang Meiqi, who pioneered modern dance in her native China, will be awarded the 2010 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching by the American Dance Festival in a ceremony July 18 at Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, North Carolina. Choreographer Shen Wei, founder of Shen Wei Dance Arts and a former student of Yang Meiqi, will speak at the ceremony.
“Yang Meiqi’s brave and unrelenting pursuit to successfully build an unknown art form in her home country unequivocally deems her the mother of modern dance in China,” the ADF said in a press statement.
With the help of the ADF and its teachers, Yang established the first modern dance program at the Guangdong Dance Academy and founded the country’s first modern dance troupe, the Guangdong Modern Dance Company.
Yang served as director of teaching and research and principal at the Guangdong Dance Academy and has also been director of the Chinese Dancer’s Association and a member of the Guangzhou Municipal Arts Educational Committee.