Feb. 2013
Kodo Appearance in Ballet Performance "Kaguyahime" at Opéra National de Paris' Palais Garnier (France)


In February 2013, eight Kodo members will make a guest appearance in ballet performances of “Kaguyahime" held by France's leading opera and ballet ensemble, Opéra national de Paris. Kodo will make history as the first taiko ensemble to perform at the world's highest-ranked theater and home of the Paris Opera, the celebrated Palais Garnier. "Kaguyahime" is a legendary ballet production that fuses music by composer Maki Ishii with choreography by Jiří Kylián. Since it was first performed in 1988, this popular production has been performed in various countries around the world. The last performances in Paris were held three years ago when Kodo took part in "Kaguyahime" with the Paris Opera Ballet at Opéra Bastille from June to July in 2010.


Photo: Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris


February 1 (Fri) – 17 (Sun), 2013

Opéra National de Paris Palais Garnier, Paris, France

Performance Dates & Times:
  • Feb. 1 (Fri) Start: 19:30
  • Feb. 2 (Sat) Start: 14:30 / Start: 20:00 (2 performances)
  • Feb. 3 (Sun) Start: 14:30
  • Feb. 5 (Tue) Start: 19:30
  • Feb. 7 (Thu) Start: 19:30
  • Feb. 8 (Fri) Start: 19:30
  • Feb. 10 (Sun) Start: 14:30
  • Feb. 12 (Tue) Start: 19:30
  • Feb. 14 (Thu) Start: 19:30
  • Feb. 15 (Fri) Start: 19:30
  • Feb. 16 (Sat) Start: 14:30 / Start: 20:00 (2 performances)
  • Feb. 17 (Sun) Start: 14:30
Ticket Availability:
On sale Nov. 12 (Mon), 2012
To purchase tickets, please visit the site below.
"Kaguyahime" Performances Page
Jiří Kylián
Maki Ishii
The Étoiles, Premiers Danseurs and Corps de Ballet of Opéra national de Paris
Michael de Roo
Kodo (Eiichi Saito, Yuichiro Funabashi, Yosuke Oda,, Eri Uchida, Mariko Omi, Yosuke Kusa, Maya Minowa), Gagaku (Japanese court music) ensemble Reigakusha, Western percussion ensemble.
Stage Designer:
Michael Simon
Costume Designers:
Joke Visser, Ferial Simon
Lighting Designer:
Michael Simon

About Opéra National de Paris

Opéra national de Paris is the national opera house and home to France's leading opera and ballet company. The Académie royale de Danse (Royal Academy of Dance) was founded in the late 17th century by Louis XIV with the purpose of training dancers and formalizing choreographic art. Well-known as the Paris Opera house today, the Palais Garnier was inaugurated in 1875 and is the thirteenth theater to house the Paris Opera.

The Paris Opera is where the occupation of “professional ballet dancer" was first created. Ever since, the Paris Opera ballet has boasted a wide repertoire from classical ballet to contemporary productions and continued to lead the global world of ballet.

In 1989, the new Opéra Bastille theater was completed, and ever since Palais Garnier hosts mainly ballet performances and Bastille hosts the opera performances. Currently, Opéra national de Paris has over 150 dancers, which is a lineup of elite dancers selected through fierce competition.

The Ballet actively tackles new pieces and also commissions works from external choreographers. One could say this production of “Kaguyahime"is one of such works and a part of the Paris Opera Ballet's attempts to broaden their forms of expression.

Introducing "Kaguyahime"

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. Maki Ishii featured a generous amount of Kodo's repertoire in this suite.

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 (now former) Kodo member Katsuji Kondo, and was performed until the late 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 Opéra Bastille. From October 11-27, 2012, eight Kodo members took part in well-received performances of "Kaguyahime: The Moon Princess" with Montreal-based ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

Press Comment

"Kaguyahime's stong point is definitely its musicality. Les Grands Ballets had to call over eleven Japanese musicians (eight are in the Kodo ensemble and three in the Gagaku ensemble) to play the music for the performance. Their presence is essential and gives all of its meaning to the story. The powerful sound of the drums adds a great deal of dimension to the choreography." Le Journal de Montreal (Canada. October 2012. Performances with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Montreal.)