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The National Ballet of China—which performs under the somewhat strange motto “United, Pragmatic, Independent, and Enterprising”—has gone full circle and then some since its early days of Soviet tutelage and inaugural Swan Lake performance in 1959. By the 1960s (post-Sino-Soviet split and mid-Cultural Revolution), art forms like ballet were under suspicion as bourgeois, Western-influenced activities. The company’s repertoire dwindled to two “revolutionary” pieces as the ballet corps trudged around China, performing on dirt stages during a punishing tour through the Chinese countryside. Far from that harsh decade, the National Ballet’s new works are still a piece of a national project—the “Chinese Dream” of a resurgent China. In the cultural realm, this means infusing classical ballet with “Chinese characteristics.” At Wolf Trap, the company presents an adaptation of a famous Chinese love story, The Peony Pavilion—that old “noblewoman falls in love with a scholar who appears to her in a dream, can’t find him in the waking world, dies of a broken heart, descends into the underworld, comes back to appear to him as a ghost, and then they try to figure out how to bring her back from the dead” story—distilled from a 20-hour 1598 Ming dynasty opera. The National Ballet of China performs at 8:30 p.m. at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. $20–$65. (703) 255-1900. wolftrap.org.