In mid-July the grove on Amsterdam Avenue in front of the David H. Koch Theater was littered with cigarette butts. This wasn't anything out of the ordinary; the trees are adjacent to the stage entrance, and it's always where the dancers and musicians go for smoking breaks. The cigarette butts on this particular occasion, however, were a flaming red, making it look like a burst of confetti had just settled to the ground. No party had been thrown. It was just that the cigarettes, instead of the usual Parliaments or Marlboros, were Chinese, and the smokers were members of the National Ballet of China.
Wang Ye in the National Ballet of China's “The Red Detachment of Women.” Photograph by Stephanie Berger