Original ballet performed in shikumen lanes
Shanghai Ballet's "A Sigh of Love" was staged in shikumen (stone-gate house) lanes at The INLET, allowing the audience to enjoy a ballet performance at close range.
Inspired by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai's film "In the Mood for Love", "A Sigh of Love" centers on unfulfilled romantic longing, but sets its background in Shanghai in the 1930s.
As one of Shanghai Ballet's signature works, "A Sigh of Love" was created by French choreographer Bertrand d'At and premiered in 2006. French designer Jerome Kaplan created the costumes.
For Shanghai Ballet principal dancer Wu Husheng, it was the first original ballet in which he played a main role.
"We have made adjustments so that this version of 'A Sigh of Love' can suit the special stage and this unique way of performance," Wu said.
The typical Shanghai-style environment at The INLET helped the dancers to present the story in its original taste. As a prelude, dancers shuttle back and forth in shikumen lanes, and are just a few meters away from visitors and spectators.
The stage settings such as a mahjong table and rickshaws integrate harmoniously into the environment.
"It's like time travel to the past, not only for the audience, but for the dancers as well," said Shanghai Ballet principal dancer Qi Bingxue.
"We should introduce this kind of special performance more often, so that the audience will know that ballet is not limited to traditional theater and stage. It can build a connection with people's lives and their living environment," she said.