Chinese Ballet: The White Haired Girl
Playwright and Performance: the White Haired Girl Group of Shanghai Ballet Academy
Cast: Mao Huifang, Shi Zhongqin, Ling Guiming, Wang Guojun
Medium: 2 VCD discs
Published by China Record Company
The White Haired Girl was adapted from the opera of the same title. The story was about Xi'er, the daughter of a poor farmer. To pay the debt of the family, she was sold to the despotic landlord Huang Shiren. After suffering enough she fled into the deep mountain. Living for many years in the mountain without adequate food, Xi'er's hair turned white and she became known as the White Haired Goddess by those who didn't know the truth. Fortunately, Xi'er was rescued by the Eighth Route Army at last and was fortunate enough to be reunited with her lover Da Chun, who had become a soldier of the Eighth Route Army.
The opera White Haired Girl moved millions of Chinese to tears with this true story that castigated the old society, which turned humans into ghosts and celebrated the liberated society that turned the ghosts back into humans.
The first opera performance was in 1945. The first ballet performance was by Shanghai Dance Academy, Shanghai in 1965. Along with Red Detachment of Women, the ballet is regarded as one of the classics of revolutionary China, and its music is familiar to almost everyone who grew up during the 1960's. It is one of the Eight model plays.
In adapting the opera into a ballet, much emphasis was put on creating something new rather than simply sticking to the settings of the original work. The elements of Chinese classical folk dances were wisely employed to create a new ballet, and each development in the story was unfolded by a perfect combination of realism and romanticism. Each character on the stage impressed the audience with its uniqueness: the innocent, sweet Xi'er and the tough, persistent White Haired Girl; the honest and sincere Da Chun and his valor and competence after joining the army; as well as the sinister landlord Huang Shiren.
China began to create its own ballets in 1964. The White Haired Girl was listed as one of the Dance Classics of the Chinese Nation in the 20th Century. It and another Chinese ballet, The Red Company of Women, were regarded as milestones in the development of Chinese ballet. They represent the idea of "making foreign things serve China". The two ballets have become important components of the world's ballet collection with their distinctive Chinese characteristics. The collective wisdom of Chinese ballet professionals made up for their lack of experience and helped speed up the development of Chinese ballet and elevate the work to a higher level.
作者：上海市舞剧学校集体改编br /> 主演：茅惠芳、石钟琴、凌桂明、王国俊