You can look forward or you can look back this week with two contrasting performances, one representing the new China, and the other Victorian Britain. New China is here in the form of the National Ballet of China, which performs this weekend in Sha Tin and next weekend in Tuen Mun. This is not the company's first visit to Hong Kong, they were a big hit when they performed here at the end of 1994, but of course they aren't on a foreign tour this time. Tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, dance fans will be able to see Rudolf Nureyev's version of Don Quixote at Sha Tin Town Hall. The story revolves around the eponymous hero of Cervantes' famous comic novel, accompanied by his sidekick Sancho Panza, this time helping a pair of star-struck lovers to the altar, against the opposition of the bride's father. Next week, on July 11 and 12, there will be a re-run of the famous ballet, The Red Detachment of Women. Set in the 1930s, this is also about star-crossed lovers in a way, although they see a happy ending as being married to the Communist Party, rather than to each other. Qionghua is an oppressed peasant woman, and Hong Changqing is the Red Army hero who liberates her. This was a particular favourite of Mao Zedong , and his wife Jiang Qing , who for a decade during the Cultural Revolution, did her best to destroy any originality in Chinese cultural life. Before the remaining foreign journalists start jumping up and down at the timing of this performance, mere days after Hong Kong returned to China, it should be noted that for nearly two decades after the Cultural Revolution, it was not performed in China, partly because everyone was heartily sick of it. The decision to re-stage was on artistic rather than political grounds. No one really expects the masses to be inspired to greater political effort after seeing this anymore. Case of an unconvincing trial It was thanks to Victorian Britain that Hong Kong ever needed to be handed back, and her standards get thoroughly mocked in a version of Gilbert and Sullivan's first collaboration, Trial by Jury Plus presented by the Hong Kong Singers at the Fringe Club next week. The story is another twist on girl-meets-boy saga, but then boy-meets-another-girl-and-dumps-first-girl. First girl has more gumption than most and sues the boy for breach of promise. The action takes place in a courtroom, and there are wedding bells all round by the end. The production company Square Peg goes to some pains to point out that the director and many of the cast are in fact lawyers themselves, 'proving that lawyers do, in fact, have a sense of humour'. Clearly these lawyers don't believe that, outside a courtroom, they need much evidence to make a case. If that is proof the legal profession has a funny bone, then I am the Chief Executive. Trial by Jury Plus, is at 7.45pm on July 8 to 12, and 2.45pm on July 12. In recognition of difference The People's Republic is not as homogenous as many foreigners tend to think. At least two great chunks of it are populated by mainly non-ethnic Chinese, some of whom have been trying to detach themselves from Han China, for decades. Tibetan separatists get a lot of international publicity. Xinjiang in the northwest doesn't receive quite as much, despite the best efforts of some bombers who blew up a bus in the capital city of Urumqi in February, which killed nine and injured more than 50, and independence demonstrators in Yining, 10 of whom have been killed. In the short-term, the authorities retaliated with arrests and executions. Long-term central government policies have tried to dilute anti-Chinese feeling by encouraging Han Chinese to settle in Xinjiang. These days Han Chinese are the second-biggest ethnic group in the area after Uygur Muslims, but there are also Kazaks, Tirgiz and Tajiks. But we are all just one big happy China now and to demonstrate this, Pasha Umer, an Uygur who moved to Hong Kong in 1993 and teaches at the Academy for Performing Arts, will perform many traditional Uygur pieces as well as Uzbek, Kirgiz, Tajik, Mongol and Hui dances as part of the Aurora Over the Silk Road, at the Cultural Centre Grand Theatre, on July 8 at 7.30pm.