Ballet des Porcelaines

Wednesday, Mar 2 – 3, 2022

The University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood
Chicago, IL 60637

Ballet des Porcelaines
Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 pm
Thursday, March 3, 7:30 pm


Logan Center for the Arts, The University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637

Ballet des Porcelaines (also known as The Teapot Prince) is an eighteenth- century French pantomime-ballet reimagined for the twenty-first century as an interdisciplinary project by Meredith Martin (NYU) and Phil Chan (Final Bow for Yellowface). It will be performed at the University of Chicago on March 2 and March 3, 2022. The short performances, sponsored by UChicago Arts, the Center for East Asian Studies, the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies, the Office of the Provost, and the Music Department at the University of Chicago, will be followed by in-depth panels on art history, dance and diversity, along with Q&A sessions with the artists.

The Smart Museum of Art’s concurrent exhibition Porcelain: Material and Storytelling is open February 15–March 6, 2022.


About the Ballet

In 1739, a group of artists and aristocrats staged a ballet pantomime known as the Ballet des Porcelaines. It tells the story of a prince searching for his lover on a faraway island ruled by a magician, who has transformed the inhabitants into porcelain. On the one hand a standard Orientalist fairy tale, the ballet is also an allegory for the intense European desire to know and possess the secrets of making porcelain. Although it would later inspire famous ballets featuring sleeping beauties and porcelain princesses, the Ballet des Porcelaines is virtually unknown.  


Photo Credit: Joe Carrotta, Villa Albertineʼs headquarters at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York City