Out & About

October 11, 2012

Ballet company opens season with Japanese classic

MONTREAL — Ancient Asian but very animated influences, classic holiday works and an Elton John soundtrack highlight a lively season presented by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. 


Opening tonight is “Kaguyahime: The Moon Princess.” “Kaguyahime” is a contemporary ballet based on Princess Kaguya, a 10th-century Japanese folktale character who has become the more modern inspiration for books, plays and even cartoons and video games.

“It is perhaps the oldest, most famous Japanese tale,” Les Grands Ballets Canadiens executive director Alain Dancyger said, adding that the work is the French equivalent of “Le Petit Prince” (“The Little Prince”) in the sense that “all the Japanese people know this story.”

Of the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens work, Dancyger said the audience can expect something very special.

“I would say that this is the most ambitious work we’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s the kind of production that can only be done live.”

The work is the first full-length ballet choreographed by Jiri Kylian.

“He’s usually an abstract choreographer. And this is a story ballet,” Dancyger said. “I think he’s one of the most thrilling choreographers today that we can find.”

Musically, the work employs a full contingent of Japanese kodo drum performers as well as a gagaku group, who play sixth-century instruments dressed in traditional Japanese Imperial costume.

“It’s visually stunning,” Dancyger said. “It’s a fusion piece. There’s an interaction between the kodo players and the dancers on stage.” 

As for the dancing, he said, “it’s very physical.”

“It’s almost intense in the physicality,” Dancyger said. “And intense in the stillness the dancers need to have that you so often find in the Japanese tradition. The combination of all of this together makes this quite a unique project.”

“Kaguyahime” is performed through Saturday, Oct. 27.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Steve Ouellette's Movie Reviews

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Entertainment Videos
Adam Levine Launches Clothing Line for Women Paul Wesley Sinks His Teeth Into Directing Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Josh Thompson Streams Album to Hook New Fans Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast ShowBiz Minute: Singer, Young, Poehler Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Nas Movie Opens Tribeca Film Festival Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards
CVPH Job Opportunities