The Kennedy Center presents National Ballet of China in Raise the Red Lantern as part of this year’s Lunar New Year Celebration, a festival that began in 2016. The last time this ballet was performed was at the Center’s 2005 Festival of China. Based on the 1991 film of the same name by Zhang Yimou, Wang Xinpeng and Wang Yuanyuan have choreographed a production that incorporates classical ballet with traditional Chinese theater, music, and dress. Raise the Red Lantern tells the story of how the love of a concubine for an opera actor and the jealousy between her and another concubine as they yearn for the favoritism of their master result in tragedy.
With its hybrid of western ballet and Chinese culture, the renowned company has won a distinguished reputation for performing cherished works and original creations.
– Alicia Adams, VP of International Programming
Since 1959, National Ballet of China has been an ambassador for the art in their country. Their repertoire consists of more than 200 ballets which includes the evergreen classics such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Giselle, as well as new works which focus more on the conservation and preservation of the spirit of Chinese culture.
Raise the Red Lantern
Raise the Red Lantern will be the headline of a week-long festival at Kennedy Center celebrating the Year of the Pig and featuring the Guangdong Province of China. The National Ballet of China performances accompanied by Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and guest musicians will be held from February 13-16, 2019; more details can be found here. Other events include Millennium Stage appearances by Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble (playing traditional instruments) and Guangdong Arts Troupe (dancing, acrobatics, and puppetry) as well as the KC Chinese New Year Family Day 2019 which will showcase food, dances, and activities related to the region.