Tireless performer – Chinadaily.com.cn

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Chen Ailian interacts with fans at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, Sichuan province, after giving two performances of the dance drama A Dream of Red Mansions. [PHOTO BY JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY]

For Chinese dancer-choreographer Chen Ailian, who is nearing 80, age is just a number.

Legendary Chinese dancer-choreographer Chen Ailian is showing no signs of slowing down even as she approaches 80. Over Sept 14-16, she did three nights of performances to celebrate her career spanning 65 years. She played the role of Lin Daiyu, a teenage heroine in the dance drama A Dream of Red Mansions, which is based on a novel of the same title written by Cao Xueqin during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Chen, who was born in Shanghai and grew up in an orphanage, started to study traditional Chinese dance in Beijing in 1952.

The same year, she watched a performance by the late Russian ballerina Galina Ulanova in Beijing.

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