I'll re-post an entry I made more than one and a half year ago in another livejournal. Why you may ask?! Today I happend to come accross an article about the main mail dancer of Tokyo Ballet Troup – who's going to retire: Tokyo Ballet's top principal readies a final dance | The Japan Times Online it's relly interesting and I loved the performance back then…
July 7th, 2010
yesterdays evening was again a cultural highlight! after seeing "Musashi" by Ninagawa Yukio (with Ann Suzuki and Tatsuja Fujiwara acting in front of me…about 2,5 meters away, I'm going all excited again…) in London in May, the Berlinale Films of Yoji Yamada (Otouto (- so wonderful, heart-warming and sad – the whole audience cried, me too, it was kind of embarrassing going out after, it was shown at 10 a.m….) Kyoto Monogatari – which is not really his film, but he supervised it, really interesting setting and story – a combination of documentary and film about habitants of a Kyoto-kuu in which the big filmstudios used to stay, like the one in which Rashomon was filmed…):
a guest performance of the Tokyo Ballet at Berlin Deutsche Staatsoper
"The Kabuki" choreographed by Maurice Bejart (1986)
a warm, but not too hot day, in the afternoon it even rained a bit…
the first thing I noticed – after being way too early to meet my friends in front of the opera (I'm always too early…so waiting is some kind of a hobby) – the wide range of people waiting outside to get to see this one of only two performances in Berlin AND they way they were dressed. I don't know how you choose your clothes for such an event. I, Myself, wanted to be elegant, but not to much – no evening dress, but also no Jeans and sneaks – high-heels and long pants, a simple but classy sleeve-less blouse
You could discover everything: from the Hippie-longdressed-sandals-look, to the jeans and t-shirt-guys (and girls), up to Gala-robes with glossy make-up and expensive accessories…
my first impression, I was impressed, unfortunately I couldn't spot any kimonos…even through there were many Japanese (I would asume 1/3 of the Berlin Japanese community, which is rather small for such a big city)
outside the opera
the second thing I've had already forgotten about this house…it's REALLY high and cliffy (? do I use this word in this context ?)…our seats were at the back, but we looked into this wide stage like into a cove…an impressive effect, increased by thin white vertical lines on the black ground
I don't know so much about The Tokyo Ballet troupe. They've got their own house in Tokyo, my Japanese Tandem told me she went their watching "Le sacre du printemps" with the music of Stravinsky and choreographed also by Bejart…it must be beautiful!!! that's definitely one more point on my "Where-to-go-in-Tokyo-list"
the piece I've seen yesterday seems to be prepared by Bejart exclusively for this troupe.
It tells the widely known story of the 47 Samurai in such an intense and beautiful way, it almost hurt!
the costumes and the light were combined in an outstanding way…white suits illuminated in a way they started to glow in front of a deep black background; bloody-red light to intense the atmosphere of seppuko (which happened quite often in this story, as you may know), kimonos and dance-suits
the expressive dancing and performing combined elements of Kabuki, traditional japanese puppet-play, classical ballet and modern dance. it started with modern electronic music, break dance moves and a yankee-styled impression…but suddenly changed into the historical setting after the leader of this "gang" found an ancient katana…in this old setting sometimes a young "modern" couple danced, and also this leader…in the end all merged into one
the female solo dancers and also the corps du ballet was able to dance and move like only a japanese is able to…the kimonos and the roles they had to perform fitted with the gestical outcome – beautiful
also the men, sometimes there was unstableness in the real slow parts, but they were powerful and strong in the fighting and traditional way of running, jumping and greeting…
the theme of this piece is revenge, jealousy, love and – the most important – loyalty
it tells allot about Japanese and it's way of thinking…I wonder how much Bejart, this swiss-french choreographer, must himself merged into Japan, Kabuki, History, Culture and Art to get to prepare such piece…I've forgotten after a few minutes, that it isn't created by a japanese guy
and the music…classical european and japanese instruments combined with this loud male voice which tells what happened at kabuki (I'm really sorry, I don't know the name…but if somebody could tell me?!?!)
I'm not sure if I can explain it right, but if you get the chance to see this performance…DO IT!!!
and last but not least, a link for those who like to see it for themself, even though it's just partial
a documentation from 1983: