The ballet White-Haired Girl (白毛女) is quintessentially identified with Shanghai, in active repertory nearly continuously since it became a full-length work in 1966. It has predecessors in other genres: a song-drama (geju) in 1945 and a film in 1950, both titled White-Haired Girl. Examining "how the polities and societies of Asia have interacted over time,” the predecessor work being presented by Professor Eva S. Chou is from another country, Japan. With the same core story and title, the Japanese ballet White-Haired Girl, was choreographed by the Matsuyama Ballet Company, Tokyo, in 1954. It toured China in 1958 and again in 1964, in what proved to be a long connection between the two countries. In this lecture, Professor Chou will focus on this record of interaction and explain the contexts for them.
Eva Shan Chou is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Baruch College. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Chinese Literature from Harvard University. She is interested in works of art and the cultural contexts of their creation and reception. This has brought her to her current project, a history of ballet in China. She is a regular reviewer for Ballet Review (New York), including a review of Our Red Army Girls 紅色娘子軍 and Peony Pavilion 牡丹亭on their 2015 Lincoln Center Summer Festival appearance.
Introduction and moderation of the Q&A by Tansen Sen, Professor and Director of the Center for Global Asia.
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