Project Description

Shanghai Ballet (1989 Tour)

The Shanghai Ballet (Tour)

I was Company Manager (and 8 days later additionally the Tour Manager) of the Shanghai Ballet’s White Haired Girl tour in 1989.

Produced by Robert Essery and Carole Beamish, this tour struggled in the middle due to “international circumstances” at the time.

Susan Wong was the lead translator representing The Shanghai Ballet Company.

The major sponsor was Canadian Airlines, plus major supporters and last minute sponsors that I pieced together including Radisson Hotel, Sandman Inn, Sai Woo Restaurant (particularly it’s owner, Bill Wen) and Kentucky Fried Chicken who became our best friend.

The White Haired Girl

Shanghai Ballet 1989 Tour Photo White Haired Girl on pointA young women, Xi’er, is maltreated and raped by an evil landlord who also kills her only relative. Xi’er flees into the mountains, living on food local villagers offer to the gods in a small temple. From long-term malnourishment, her hair turns white, and the villagers who sometimes see her think she is a ghost.

Dachun, a cadre in the Eighth Route Army, discovers her and brings her back to real life in the village which itself has undergone improvements. Along with other members of the army and villagers, he leads Xi’er from the darkness of the cave into the bright sunlight.

In the new society, so the audience learns, humans no longer have to become ghosts but instead, ghosts become humans again.

Shanghai Ballet 1989 Tour Photo BW outline Shanghai Ballet 1989 Tour Photo Boy leap Shanghai Ballet 1989 Tour Photo Boys dance number