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Political Theater at the G 20: Dancing on Water

The Chinese have put on a spectacular entertainment at the G 20 summit in Hangzhou.

Amid the latest government policy urging Chinese to turn away from Western culture, the producers show Chinese ballet dancers in pink tututs and specially designed toe shoes, for dancing on the waters.

Having worked on cultural exchange in music, painting and dance two decades ago, I can tell you that the Chinese take the training of their classical ballet dancers quite seriously. They send young dancers abroad to learn. Western companies and Western ballet masters teach at Chinese academies. Ballet is classical art that is in the Western artistic tradition, in story, music and the use of the human body. It is different from music and dance traditions belonging to the most beloved of Chinese performance art forms, Peking opera.



More important than what is happening to the tutus amid the fountains, is the sidebar meetings between Obama and Putin, with a discussion of Syria.

The talk between Obama and Xi about cyber espionage and the South China sea and the theatrics of a Chinese security officer stopping Susan Rice, the national security advisor, on the tarmac.

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