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Classic ballet on film portrays the Chinese Revolution

The Walker Art Center offers an extremely rare opportunity Sunday to see the 1971 ballet version of “The Red Detachment of Women” (Hongse niangzi jun). Directed by Xie Jin, the film was one of eight “model works” permitted during the Cultural Revolution in China, and tells the story of a group of women who pursue the communist battle against the Nationalists — without regard to their own safety or welfare, of course.

Power and its loss, humiliation and obsession, revenge and execution all receive their due in this tale, which was made into a ballet in 1964. It was also performed for President Richard Nixon during his visit to China in 1972.

The film includes members of the China Ballet Troupe as it depicts the liberation of a peasant girl in Hainan Island, and her later ascension in the Chinese Communist Party. The ballet combines traditional ballet of Western culture with traditional Chinese dancing.
For a very brief snippet go here.

3 p.m. Sunday, $6-$8, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 612-375-7600.

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