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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Ballet tour for Yimou's Red Lantern
Chinese director Zhang Yimou
Yimou was Oscar-nominated for Hero
Oscar-nominated director Zhang Yimou is taking a ballet based on his film Raise the Red Lantern to Europe.

The 1991 film, based on a novel by Zu Tong, brought Yimou and lead actress Gong Li world recognition because of its powerful story about a concubine.

Yimou took his vision of the film and transformed it into a ballet, performed by the National Ballet of China, and has since worked on a revised version.

"The altered storyline is more distinct and choreography more animated and life-like than the previous version," Yimou told the Xinhua News Agency.

The show will be performed in Paris, Italy and London, with a short run at the Sadlers Wells Theatre.

Puccini opera

Raise the Red Lantern, set in the 1920s, tells the story of a concubine, sold by her mother into a stifling world of jealousy and resentment.

Her love for an opera actor and the jealousy of a rival concubine lead to tragic consequences as the women compete for the raised red lantern which signals they are favoured by their master.

Yimou's movie Hero, about a plot to assassinate the legendary King of Qin, 2,200 years ago, was nominated for best foreign language Oscar in 2003.

In 1988, he directed a production of Puccini's opera Turandot in the former imperial palace in Beijing.

Heroic take on China's past
19 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Zhang movie breaks China record
13 Jan 03  |  Entertainment

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