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Dance produced in Shanghai to cheer overseas people
By:Zheng Qian  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2020-05-08 10:10

When the Chinese were strenuously fighting against the novel coronavirus epidemic in mid-February, a video shot by Japan’s Matsuyama Ballet Troupe featured the Chinese national anthem and their encouragement to Wuhan and China greatly touched the Chinese people’s hearts.

This is the reason why the Shanghai Dance Theatre has attempted to repay the overseas people who are now overwhelmed by the disease outbreak.

Since the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries proposed to create some art works to encourage foreign people in the pandemic battle, theaters affiliated to SMGLive, a performance talent training and dance production company in Shanghai, began making their productions. Finally, two works have been chosen to release to the world, with one being the dance One World Filled with Love by the Shanghai Dance Theatre.

Based on a namesake song, the dance adds some sign languages. All of the 50 odd dancers from the troupe have taken part in the performance.

Zhu Jiejing is one of the main performers and danced in the opening act in which she lies on her arms and with the spotlight on her slowly opensher eyes to dance, finally taking off her mask. This scene signals that people are preparing for when the pandemic ends.

(Zhu Jiejing in the dance)

To make both artists and general public understand what the dance means and the emotion it expresses, the producer especially adopted simple sign languages such as touching face and hugging. In terms of the outfit, T-shirts with the image of a Crested Ibis(whose near extinction had prompted the troupe to createa namesake ballet) was chosen instead of professional dancing costumes.

(the Crested Ibis ballet)

In the video, clips from the Crested Ibis ballet have also been added. As a program which has performed in Japan and America many times and resonated especially among the Japanese due to its nature protection theme, Crested Ibis is not only a representative work of the troupe, but also a symbol that it conducts international cultural exchanges to promote civilian communication.

Ma Chencheng, president of SMGLive and also director of the dance One World Filled with Love believes that editing scenes from the Crested Ibis into the dance video not only recalls people’s consciousness to protect the environment amid the current pandemic outbreak, but also emphasizes the concept of a “community of a shared future for mankind”. Both the ballet and the dance are conveying the same universal emotion and value.

Speaking of the ballet’s success in Japan and America, Wang Jiajun, one of the main dancers felt quite proud. In 2018, the ballet crew went to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to have its American premiere. In a signing event, the crew were deeply moved by the enthusiasm of the American audiences, which contained many overseas Chinese too.

(Wang Jiajun in the dance One World Filled with Love)

“Although I didn't quite understand what they were saying, I could feel their strong affection to our performance. It can be said that art had broken the gap between people." Recalling the scene, Wang Jiajun was full of excitement, "they shook my hands and wanted me to sign my name. At that time, I was so delighted. I felt that we young Chinese dancers/artistswere accepted and loved by the locals. This was not just exchanges between dancers and audiences, but between their two countries. The ballet Crested Ibis acted like a bridge to connect the people of our two countries together, and made their hearts very close."

Producing the dance One World Filled with Love for foreign people is also a kind of civilian communication. It will transfer the Chinese people’s love and encouragement to the world by showing the positive attitude of the young Chinese when facing up to the pandemic.

In Zhu Jiejing’s view what they are doing is small but it will converge into a huge force. “We believe that humanity can overcome all difficulties with wisdom, power, art, and love,”said Zhu.