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The Butterfly Lovers 

When: Fri., Nov. 1, 8 p.m. and Sat., Nov. 2, 8 p.m. 2013
Price: Tickets start at $30
From Orpheus and Eurydice to Romeo and Juliet, world literature abounds with avatars of tragic love. Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo are China’s contribution, and though they’re often referred to as the nation’s Romeo and Juliet, they’ve got nine hundred years on Shakespeare. Tang Dynasty scribes immortalized them in the legend of The Butterfly Lovers, and their star-crossed romance has been reimagined in fiction, operas, arias, concerti, architecture, and at least three TV series. Experience the Shanghai Ballet’s interpretation this weekend, when Cal Performances presents the company’s lavish full-length production at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way below Telegraph Ave., Berkeley). Melding Eastern and Western influences, the 2001 ballet brings together Chinese folk dance and classical ballet, fairy tale and tradition, and a score played on both Chinese and orchestral instruments. A symposium on the story’s relationship to the Cultural Revolution takes place Friday at 4 p.m. at the Berkeley Art Museum Gund Theatre (2626 Bancroft Way).
— Claudia Bauer

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