Lileks put up some pix from a ChiCom ballet.
It's called "Red Detachment of Women." He writes, "According to Wikipedia - the three most trusted words in information! – this play was one of eight permitted to be shown during the Cultural Revolution..."
EIGHT. That's all they got. And you can tell by looking at the pictures. These are artists, and this unworthy product was all they were allowed to pour themselves into, so they did it. Look at the smile on the woman in particular. To me, that doesn't say "beholding the revolutionary road." It says, "Thank God I'm doing what I love, for the people I love." Glorious Revolutions can bite the wax tadpole, there's a show to put on.
His writing is great, as always... but my heart breaks thinking about these dancers and singers, happily extolling five-year plans and Chairman Mao, all the while denied Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and the Marriage of Figaro. I mean - look at this. Grace, power, beauty? Pffft - it's nothing next to the glories of the state.