In October 2012, Montreal-based ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will hold performances of "Kaguyahime: The Moon Princess," which will feature eight Kodo performers. "Kaguyahime" is a legendary ballet production that fuses music by composer Maki Ishii with choreography by Jiří Kylián. Two years has passed since Kodo took part in "Kaguyahime" performances with the Paris Opera Ballet on the Opera Bastille stage and we look forward to the new season in Canada this fall.
Photo: Damian Siqueiros
Dancers: Tetyana Martyanova and Yadil Suarez Llerena
Based on Japan's oldest story "Taketori Monogatari" (The Tale of the Bamboo-Cutter), composer Maki Ishii created "Kaguyahime Suite (symphonic suite for percussion groups)," and in 1984 the premiere was held at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, performed by Kodo and the Opera Percussionists. In 1985, the first version incorporating ballet called "Kaguyahime Ballet (for ballet, Japanese drums, percussions, and gagaku ensemble)" made its debut, featuring the Tokyo Star Dancers Ballet, Kodo, Percussion Ensemble Okada of Japan, and a gagaku ensemble featuring Sukeyasu Shiba. In 1988 Maki Ishii and choreographer Jiří Kylian, artistic director of the Netherland Dance Theater at the time, joined forces to bring a new version of Kaguyahime to life. This production first took place at the Holland Festival, featuring former Kodo member Katsuji Kondo, and was performed until the 1990's around the world. In June 2010, seven Kodo members took part in the long awaited return performances of "Kaguyahime" with the Paris Opera Ballet at the Opera Bastille. This year, eight Kodo members will travel to Canada to take part in performances of "Kaguyahime" with Montreal-based ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.