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The foundation of ballet in China was laid with the 1954 establishment of the Beijing Dance School with a division in ballet. How a Tsarist entertainment genre came to be a prized genre in socialist soil is a story with many parts. Its context is the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance (1950-1960), which included provisions for Soviet experts to be assigned in all areas to aid in China's national construction. In the cultural arena, this included dance, both folk and ballet. This paper covers two necessary first steps: (1) how officials at the highest level came to learn about ballet; and (2) how the proponents of ballet used the inclusion of Galina Ulanova in a 1952 Sino-Soviet Friendship Tour to promote and explain ballet.


In Proceedings for conference "Dancing the Cold War," 2017. Ed. Lynn Garafola. Harriman Institute, Columbia University, 2018. pp 12-22.


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