Inspired by Chinese tale, The Painted Wall, and not dissimilar to Oscar's Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, the story begins when two friends visit an empty Chinese monastery and one becomes so transfixed by a girl in one of its frescos, that he is transported into the painting's world to meet her. The pair have a connection, and the ballet follows their courtship, marriage and Chu's eventual ousting when he is driven back to his own world by the girl's guardians.
Stylistic, with echoes of Chinese dance and contemporary ballet, and backed by an electronic-cum-urban soundtrack composed by Nicolas Godin, this is a ballet of love, romance, hope and realism. It is a mesmerizingly poetic piece that captivates with its dynamism, its tragedy, and its energy.
Angelin Preljocaj is an award-winning Parisian choreographer who was awarded the Grand Prix National de la Danse in 1992, the Benois de la Danse in 1995, the Bessie Award for Annunciation in 1997, and the Globe de Cristal for Snow White in 2009. He has collaborated on several films, has seen his work written about in a number of books, and was appointed a Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur and received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2014.