70 Years of Berliner Festspiele

Ode to the Yimeng Mountains

Dance drama ensemble of the People’s Republic of China, Berliner Festwochen 1976
1976 / Colour
Television director: Sigmar Börner

Excerpts from the recording of the performance on 23.10.1976 im Theater des Westens

The recording of the performance by the state dance drama ensemble of the People’s Republic of China during the 1976 Berliner Festwochen festival provided a rare glimpse of one of the leading artistic positions of China at the time which, coming only one month after the death of the Chinese president Mao Zedong, is impossible to regard without taking his cultural revolution campaign into account.

A stage that is laid out with a green lawn and bushes. On the lawn, two Asian read people can be seen who interact with each other. In the left half of the picture a male read person dressed in a green military uniform is lying on the ground. To his right is a female read person.

Dance Drama Ensemble of the People’s Republic of China, “Ode To The Yimeng Mountains”, Berliner Festwochen 1976. Film, colour, sound. Film still

© RBB | National Ballet of China

  • 41 min

“The Chinese Dance Drama Ensemble was founded in 1959; its predecessor was the Experimental Ballet of the Peking Dance School. It is one of the leading dance drama ensembles that have emerged and grown as a result of the staunch tempering of the Great Proletarian Revolution. From 1964 onwards it has been led by Comrade Jiang Quin in the light of the revolutionary line of Chairman Mao and following the guidelines […] for literature and art “Let one hundred flowers bloom! Let the new proceed from the critical reception of the old!” “Place the old in the service of the present, make what is foreign useful for China”, joined by revolutionary workers in literature and art to cut through the many obstacles put in place by the revisionist line. […] In these works, a series of glorious proletarian heroic figures is used to sing of the life of struggle of workers, peasants and soldiers; these works therefore play a militant role “for the solidarity and education of the people, to strike against the enemy and destroy it”. On 8 October 1964 the Great Leader of the Chinese people, Chairman Mao Zedong saw a performance of the dance drama “The Red Detachment of Women” and praised it highly. […] The Chinese Dance Drama Ensemble strides forward along the revolutionary line of Chairman Mao.”
(Programme notes published in 1976)

© RBB | National Ballet of China