THE NATIONAL Ballet of China is a company that combines classical and modern ballet into their performances.

The company was founded in 1959 and for over 50 years have made great achievements in training, stage production and ballet education.

By touring all over the world, The National Ballet of China aims to spread Chinese culture through their high-class performances.

The entertainment for the night started before audiences even got inside The Lowry Theatre to watch The National Ballet of China’s Peony Pavillion performance.

At the entrance of the theatre there was a drum player, two Chinese dragons who interacted with passers by and Chinese lanterns decorating the surrounding area.

This not only promoted the event but also got viewers excited for the performance.

Before the curtain came up, the main cast members where introduced by choreographer Fei Bo along with their story lines.

The Peony Pavillion is considered one of the most famous love stories in Chinese literature. The National Ballet of China’s production was an adaptation of the 1598 play – The Peony Pavillion.

As the curtain drew up to indicate the start of the performance, the audience where introduced to Du Liniang.

The story began with Liniang seated showing that she was in a deep sleep, she dreamt of two alter egos who lead her through a dreamworld.

By the interval, the audience witnessed the story of Liniang’s discovery of true love with Liu Mengmei through her dreams and the struggle she goes through being in the real world.

Liniang died for love as she asked her alter ego to take her to the dreamworld.

In Act 2, Scene 2;  it was revealed that Liu Mengmei dreamt of Du Liniang and for them to be together, Liniang had to return to the real world for love.

The lovers reunite and marry with the peony flowers falling whilst the other people from the dreamworld disappeared.

Although it was hard to understand the difference between the dreamworld and reality at some points throughout the performance, it didn’t matter as it was enjoyable for the audience to watch the dancers and their breathtaking movement across the stage.

The Principal Dancer’s and Prima Ballerina’s impressed the audience with difficult moves that where made to look effortless and beautiful.

Overall, The National Ballet of China’s performance of The Peony Pavillion was a masterpiece of dance.

By Shannon Smillie

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