The 70th National Arts Festival by Agency for Cultural Affairs presents
Peter DARRELL is a founder of the Scottish Ballet, and also worked as its artistic director. He was active as a choreographer during the same period as Kenneth MACMILLAN and John CRANKO, and is an indispensable figure in the history of British ballet. Darrell choreographed Tales of Hoffman in 1972 for the Scottish Ballet. In characteristically British form, it is a piece with a strong dramatic element, and demands very high levels of expressive power and technical skill from the performers. The piece fascinates with its theme of love woven by richly individual stage presences: the hero, Hoffman, who appears in various life stages from youth to the onset of old age, the three women whose hearts he stole, and the devil who appears in a multitude of roles under different guises. OHARA Noriko has danced all three main female roles as principal of the Scottish Ballet, and is thus fully versed in the charms and features of this work by DARRELL.
This performance breathes new life into the piece by way of scenery and costume design by Japanese designers, making it very much an National Ballet of Japan production. This "fantasy for grown-ups" develops to OFFENBACH's beautiful music replete with variations, romantic yet with a whiff of forlornness--a production to be looked forward to.