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Ballet pulled off Shanghai Expo for Tibet dedication

September 1, 2010

By Kalsang Rinchen
August 31, 2010

Dharamsala, August 31 -- The British Council and
English National Ballet have cancelled a planned
performance of a new ballet because the composer
dedicated the score to the people of Tibet, reported The Times Saturday.

The British Council said it deeply regretted the
ballet had become a political vehicle and it was
therefore "not appropriate" for it to go ahead.
"The British Council is a nonpolitical
organisation that runs a range of cultural
relations programmes in China to build and
strengthen longterm cultural, academic and
economic ties between the two countries," a statement by the counil said.

Pete Wyer, the British composer, has been a
supporter of the Tibet movement against Chinese
rule. Wyer, told The Times that the dedication
was purely personal and was not endorsed by the
British Council or intended to be a political statement.

It is not clear if pressure from China or its
Embassy in Britain has led to the move to cancel the performance.

Wyer has earlier composed an opera about a
Tibetan nun imprisoned for expressing her support
and loyalty for the exile Tibetan leader the
Dalai Lama, whom Beijing reviles as a
“separatist” seeking to split the motherland. A
choral work called “Tibetan Sanctus” composed by
Wyer will be performed in Washington next year.

The ballet titled 'The Far Shore' was a part of a
series of cultural programmes to mark Britain’s
"national holiday" at the Shanghai Expo on
September 8. The ballet was to be performed by
six British and six Chinese dancers in the
presence of Duke of York, Brtish Prime Minister
David Cameron and Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao.

Choreographed by Van Le Ngoc, a Vietnamese dancer
with ENB, the ballet is based on Swan Lake. Wyer
said his score was "intended to reflect the
joyousness of a happy ending as love triumphs
over all". The score for 'The Far Shore' was
recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Angel Studios.

More than 190 countries are participating in the
Shanghai Expo which began on May 1 and will go until October 31.
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