In October 2015, Montreal-based ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will hold performances of "Kaguyahime: The Moon Princess," which will feature music by seven Kodo performers. "Kaguyahime" is a legendary ballet production that fuses music by composer Maki Ishii with choreography by Jiří Kylián. Kodo also took part in Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal's 2012 season of this ballet and our most recent performances of "Kaguyahime" were with the Paris Opera Ballet in 2013. We look forward to the 2015 season and our reunion with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Canada this fall.
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, Kodo took part in the long-awaited return performances of "Kaguyahime" by the Paris Opera Ballet at Opéra Bastille in Paris, France, which were followed by a further season in February 2013 at the renowned Palais Garnier. In Oct. 2012, Kodo was invited by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal to perform "Kaguyahime" in Canada for the first time. In Oct. 2015, Kodo will return to Canada to reunite with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal for their fall performances of "Kaguyahime."