CHINESE BALLET IN THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION: NATIONALISM AND COMMUNISM IN MOVEMENT
AuthorHUANG, NOAH EVAN
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn the following, I attempt to characterize “Chinese Revolutionary Ballet,” what I argue to be a stylization of ballet that occurred during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Chinese Revolutionary Ballet seems to have been a nationalistic attempt on behalf of Madam Mao and Mao Zedong to reject Euro-Western ballet origin and influence and to establish a unique method representative of China. Using a 1971 recording of the Yangbanxi model revolutionary ballet, Red Detachment of Women, as well as a 2005 documentary on the Yangbanxi, I analyze and attempt to define the “Chinese-ness” of “Chinese Revolutionary Ballet”. In this work, I then situate it within the history of ballet and the political realm and history of China to argue that China created a unique style, rather than a true technique, of ballet from the synthesis of various art and athletic forms with Russian Ballet technique. I am further able to analyze the legacy and political agenda success behind this artistic movement through the employment of newspaper articles and critiques centered around Chinese ballet choreography from the Cultural Revolution onwards.