Yuan Yuan Tan & Friends

Last night, I was very kindly given a ticket to go and see one of the most incredible and inspiring ballet performances I have ever seen: Yuan Yuan Tan & Friends. Yuan Yuan Tan is a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet who went to Shanghai Dance School as she grew up – she is said to be the most famous Chinese ballerina of all time. The event was held at the Shanghai International Dance Center, which was built within the last couple of years and is very local to me.

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Her “Friends” included superstar ENB artistic airector Tamara Rojo, Xander Parish (Mariinsky Ballet), Adiarys Almeida Santana (Boston Ballet), Isaac Hernandez Fernandez (English National Ballet), Joseph Michael Gatti (Corella Balletin Spain/Cincinnati Ballet), Megan Fairchild (NYC Ballet), Gonzalo Garcia (NYC Ballet) and one of my personal favourites of the evening, Vitor Luiz (San Francisco Ballet).

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The event consisted of several excerpts from famous ballets, which was perfect as it was fast-paced and just skipped to all the best bits. It included famous solos and pas de deux from Swan Lake, Ballet 101, Le Corsaire, Onegin, Jewels and Carmen (Tamara Rojo in Carmen is a must-see). Since the main pas de deux of a ballet includes the most impressive allegro and turn sequences (i.e. Swan Lake Act 3 Coda) the audience were getting really into it cheering and clapping, which we found hilarious. Absolutely amazing night.

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