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Shanghai International Dance Centre is now open

The stunning new venue is hosting its first performance tonight

The stunning Shanghai International Dance Centre is now open, and given Batsheva Dance Company’s fondness for change, it’s not surprising that Shanghai's new dance epicenter is featuring company classic Deca Dance as its debut performance this week.

In addition to having a 1,079-seat grand theatre and a 291-seat experimental theatre, this gleaming arts behemoth is Asia’s first professional dance centre. It will house the Shanghai Ballet and the Shanghai Song and Dance Ensemble, as well as the Shanghai Dance School (two branches affiliated with the Shanghai Theatre Academy).

The two theatres have identically-sized stages for rehearsal purposes – dancers transferring stage sizes can appear visibly uncomfortable, or even crash into each other. And the rehearsal studios’ ‘springy’ floors should curtail injuries, a development which Shanghai International Dance Centre general manager Karin Zhang calls ‘new and creative technology.’

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Now that four major Shanghai companies are to be located under the same lofted, state-of-the-art roof, it should hopefully see the dance world catch up with the mushrooming opera house construction business.
Furthermore, it should set the right tone. ‘Its birth and existence shows that China dance art and performance is maturing and the market is growing,’ says Zhang. ‘This dedicated theatre will help dancers have better performances.’

The centre is also contracting emerging choreographers and improving their young artists support programme. ‘We hope there will be more and more excellent Chinese young dancers performing around the world.’ The world does too. Check out our full preview of tonight's debut performance Deca Dance here.

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Batsheva Dance Company’s Deca Dance is at the Shanghai International Dance Centre on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced 180-1,080RMB. Buy tickets below.