UNESCO Centre - ICEE
Aesthetic Education for Students — Summary of Annual Work Report of 2022 by the ICEE Ballet Aesthetic Education Program
[Editor’s note] On January 28, 2023, Global Ballet Centre (GBC) prepared its Annual Chronicle of Events of 2022, and communicated with the International Centre for Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO (ICEE), which elaborated on the annual work of 2022 under the ICEE Ballet Aesthetic Education Program. This newsletter is a summary of the annual work.
ICEE Ballet Aesthetic Education Program (the Program), launched by ICEE on September 15, 2021, is the first phase of the ICEE Aesthetic Education Program. It aims to give wings to engineering education through aesthetic education. The Program includes support for “an optional ballet course”, “a ballet appreciation event”, “a ballet-themed activity”, and “a ballet aesthetic education club”.
Group Photo of the Guests at the Launch Event of the Program
The Program was launched jointly by ICEE and GBC and supported by the Art Education Centre, Tsinghua University. GBC is a non-governmental and non-profit organization that aims to promote the development of ballet around the world and the dissemination of excellent culture and art. Together with ICEE, it integrates relevant professional resources and implements the Program.
The Optional Ballet Courses at Tsinghua University
I. Support Students from Tsinghua University and Other Universities to Watch Ballet Performance
1. Music Meets Ballet New Year’s Concert of 2022
Supported by China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Program, another batch of students and teachers from Tsinghua University watched the Music Meets Ballet New Year’s Concert of 2022 jointly produced by China Philharmonic Orchestra and National Ballet of China (NBC) at the Poly Theatre in Beijing on December 31, 2021.
The dancers from National Ballet of China performed a well-known excerpt from The Red Detachment of Women, the most representative ballet, famous excerpts from classic ballets Onegin and Swan Lake, Dance of Porcelain from the ballet Chinese New Year produced by FENG Ying, Director of NBC, based on The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, and the dance choreographed by XU Gang, Assistant Artistic Director of NBC and Ballet Master, for Waltz by Shostakovich and Johann Strauss Jr., etc.
Performance Scene at Music Meets Ballet New Year’s Concert of 2022
China Philharmonic Orchestra and NBC presented the audience marvelous, emotional performances that fully displayed their world-leading standards. After enjoying the performance, the students wrote down their feelings, such as “I was very shocked after watching the New Year’s Concert of 2022. It is unforgettable.” “The New Year’s Concert helped the audience have a year-end review with the interweaving of two art forms of symphony and ballet.”
Group Photo at the Music Meets Ballet New Year’s Concert of 2022
2. Watch The Red Detachment of Women
Supported by Tianqiao Theatre in Beijing and the Program, students from Tsinghua University watched The Red Detachment of Women at the Tianqiao Theatre on March 6, 2022, which is a well-known and much-loved work of NBC.
Before the performance, the Program arranged an exchange session with XU Gang for Tsinghua teachers and students, and XU Gang interpreted those exciting and moving plots in The Red Detachment of Women.
Ballet Master XU Gang and Students in the Optional Ballet Course at Tsinghua University
The sincere and emotional performance of the dancers form NBC was perfectly presented to the audience, showing the world-leading level. After enjoying the performance, the students wrote down their feelings, such as “It is the first time for me to watch ballet in the theater. It is really amazing.” “I had never imagined that ballet could present fierce fight scenes so vividly which were gripping yet well-organized. I also marveled at the superb professional skills of the dancers who could still land steadily after many pirouettes. For me, I can’ do two turns even standing on my feet.”
Tsinghua students who watched The Red Detachment of Women at the Tianqiao Theatre
Ⅱ. Organize Ballet-themed Activities
1. Conference on Exchanges and Mutual Learning between Chinese Ballet and Other Civilizations
The Conference on Exchanges and Mutual Learning between Chinese Ballet and Other Civilizations took place at Tsinghua University Art Museum on October 30, 2022. It was attended and addressed by PENG Gang, Vice President of Tsinghua University, XIE Weihe, Vice Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, CAO Jinsong, Director of Haidian District Culture Development Promotion Centre, and presided over by FENG Shuangbai, President of China Dancers Association, FENG Ying, Director of NBC, and ZOU Zhirui, former Dean of the Ballet Department, Beijing Dance Academy. SHEN Ye, Secretary General of the Global Partnership Board of ICEE, attended the conference on behalf of ICEE. The conference was sponsored by the School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, the Institute for World Literatures and Cultures, Tsinghua University, the Institute for Global Industry, Tsinghua University and the Propaganda Department of the CPC Committee of Haidian District, and organized by GBC.
Group Photo of the Guests at the Conference on Exchanges and Mutual Learning between Chinese Ballet and Other Civilizations
2. Master Lectures
Master Lecture of Zhongguancun Dance Festival 2022 (ZDF 2022): Choreography Improvisation Master Class — A Movement Exploration Journey of Choreographers was held online on December 15, 2022. Vladimir Angelov, Founding Executive Director of International Consortium for Advancement in Choreography, presented the online audience an excellent lecture and dance improvisation demonstration class. As an important part of ZDF 2022, this master class was sponsored by the Propaganda Department of the CPC Committee of Haidian District, organized by the Institute for Global Industry, Tsinghua University and GBC, and supported by the Zhongguancun International Dance Centre.
Choreography Master Workshop of ZDF 2022 — Imagination and Creation of Choreographers was held online on December 20, 2022. Ms. Naima Prevots, a dancer, choreographer, educator, critic, historian and manager, introduced six influential female choreographers in American choreography history in the chronological order. This ballet master workshop was sponsored by the Propaganda Department of the CPC Committee of Haidian District, organized by the Institute for Global Industry, Tsinghua University and GBC, and supported by the Zhongguancun International Dance Centre.
Ⅲ. Other Activities regarding Ballet Aesthetic Education
1. The First Ailian Youth Grand Prix
The First Ailian Youth Grand Prix, cosponsored by Tianqiao Theatre Co., Ltd. and GBC and advised by NBC, aims to launch a ballet competition with international influence for young outstanding ballet dancers around the world and build a platform for international exchanges for young people from an international professional perspective.
The competition was officially launched on March 14, 2022, with applications being accepted from March 14 to May 31. The preliminary and final were held online from June to July, and the award party and celebration performance were held on August 8 at the Tianqiao Theatre. The competition consisted of seven groups, namely non-professional children group, juvenile group A, juvenile group B, juvenile group C, youth group, and professional group A and professional group B. A total of 60 people won the First, Second and Third Prizes, Special Award of the Jury, Special Award of the Organizing Committee, and Excellent Instructor Award, and obtained internship opportunities at NBC. Nobody won the Grand Prix or Best Choreography Award. The competition received wide attention from ballet lovers and wide praise from all sectors of society.
2. GBC’s Yangshipin Channel Launched
GBC’s Yangshipin Channel was officially launched in 2022, and its Youth Aesthetic Education Series feature film — Ballet was presented on the home page of Yangshipin.
The Program will continue supporting the activity of “Bringing Elegant Art to Campus” at Tsinghua University in 2023. While giving priority to the engineering, science and technology students of Tsinghua University to have close contact with ballet, the Program will also support more college students and teenagers to embrace the beauty of ballet, and strive to promote ballet to a wider range of non-ballet students, so as to play its unique role in aesthetic education.
(Edited by SHEN Ye, LI Chao; Reviewed by XU Lihui)