Taiwanese ballet dancer takes the stage in Canada

2017/12/10 18:50:43 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
George Liang (梁秩傑)/photo courtesy of Karolina  Kuras

George Liang (梁秩傑)/photo courtesy of Karolina Kuras

Toronto, Dec. 10 (CNA) Twenty-year-old Taiwanese George Liang (梁秩傑) was excited to see the promotional posters on the streets of Toronto for "The Nutcracker" because he is appearing on stage with the National Ballet of Canada for the presentation of its annual Christmas show this year.

Liang, who is an apprentice dancer in Canada's largest ballet company, has two minor roles in the show, playing both a servant and a horse.

Although they are just small parts, Liang said, he is thrilled to be in the cast of the world's most iconic ballet "The Nutcracker," which opened at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto on Dec. 9 in the first of 25 public shows for the Christmas season.

"I never thought I would have a ballet life like this," Liang said in an interview with CNA.

In Canada, there is great emphasis on the arts and culture, more so than in Taiwan, he said.

Liang began to take ballet classes when he was 13, training with a dance troupe in New Taipei. Six months later, he was selected to join a summer camp offered by the National Ballet School of Canada.

When he was in ninth grade, he entered an international ballet competition in Hong Kong and gave such an impressive performance that Garry Trinder, director of the New Zealand School of Dance, offered him a full three-year full scholarship.

At the age of 19, Liang graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in December 2016 with a diploma in dance performance.

One year later, he secured an apprenticeship with the National Ballet of Canada after passing a stringent selection process.

In the ballet troupe there are many world-class professional dancers and who are all willing to help with the training of apprentices, Liang said.

"They've broadened my horizons," he said.

On Saturday, he took to the stage at the Four Seasons Centre, joining 50 other dancers, 98 students, 65 musicians, 20 members of a choir, and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who played the role of a Cannon doll in the ballet.

"It's a fantastic experience," Liang said. I hope to move forward step by step, and the next step is to perform as a corps dancer." By Hu Yu-li and Elizabeth Hsu)

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