2022/2023 Season Ballet & Dance at the New National Theatre, Tokyo
We are delighted to announce the 2022/2023 Ballet＆Dance Season at the New National Theatre, Tokyo.
- Giselle -25th Anniversary Production-
- The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
- New Year Ballet
A Million Kisses to my Skin / Symphony in C / TBA
- Coppélia Ballet by Roland Petit
- Shakespeare Double Bill
The Dream / Macbeth
- Swan Lake
- Ballet for Children'Still Life' at the Penguin Café
- Education Programme vol.2 Swan Lake
- The National Ballet of Japan "The Rite of Spring"
- DANCE to the Future 2023
- DANCE ARCHIVES in Japan 2023
Message from YOSHIDA Miyako, Artistic Director of Ballet ＆ Dance
The 2022/2023 season will be my third year as Artistic Director of Ballet & Dance at the New National Theatre, Tokyo (NNTT). We have been working through the pandemic ever since I started, but my vision has not changed at all. To make the company a better place and to offer as many people as possible the chance to discover the magic of ballet and dance, we have carried out many reforms in various areas, such as dancers' physical working environment, the number of performances, healthcare support, and even makeup. I realise every day that these elements are closely intertwined, even though it might not seem like it at first glance. Just like a plant cannot grow if it lacks one of essential nutrients, ballet companies also need an integrated approach from various angles in order to flourish.
In the 2022/23 season, I am delighted to be bringing four new productions to our audience. Firstly, we will open the season with a new production of Giselle, a ballet in two acts. To revise the choreography, we are going to invite the renowned choreographer Alastair MARRIOT, who used to dance for the Royal Ballet for a long time, and I will also be involved in the production myself. Giselle is a masterpiece of Romantic ballet and has been passed on from generation to generation at many ballet companies worldwide. That is why I would like to make our own version while respecting its legacy.
The second new production is A Million Kisses to my Skin, which was originally scheduled for 2021. Although the choreography is based on classical steps, I believe it will be a challenging performance for our dancers, as they may need to break out of their shells to dance this ballet. I also hope that the rehearsing process with the choreographer David DAWSON will provide them with an opportunity to learn the essence of the ballet and take in as much as possible directly from him. It will be performed alongside BALANCHINE's glorious Symphony in C and others and I am sure this will make a colourful triple bill, perfect for the new year.
As for the other two new productions, we will present The Dream and Macbeth in May, as part of our Shakespeare Double Bill. The Dream was originally scheduled for January 2022, but this time round it feels like the timing could not be more perfect, as it will make a double bill with another Shakespearean ballet. Macbeth will be choreographed by another celebrated choreographer Will TUCKETT, exclusively for the National Ballet of Japan (NBJ). The ballet score "Macbeth Suite" by Geraldine MUCHA will be used for a ballet for the very first time. I am extremely excited to welcome Will because I believe it will have a significant impact on the dancers to witness a prestigious choreographer creating a new work right in front of their eyes.
We will also perform exciting ballets from our repertoire. During the holiday season, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, our winter favourite, will return to the theatre. In the 2021/22 season, we attempted this ballet as a long running performance for the first time, and it ended up being a huge success, having seen many audiences over the winter holiday season. I sincerely hope these kinds of long-run ballet performances will take root in Japan from now on.
In February, we will present Coppélia by Roland Petit, which is a production I desperately wanted to bring back as soon as possible. When it was originally scheduled for 2021, we ended up performing with no audience, but a large number of people watched the live stream instead. I cannot wait to present this French masterpiece choreographed by Petit to live audiences.
At the end of the season, we will bring back Swan Lake to the theatre. The new production created in 2021 was a huge success, and the power of this masterpiece was reaffirmed by seeing our dancers' growth through this ballet, as well as our audiences' calm yet palpable excitement. This time round, we will also perform the ballet as part of our educational programme, and I hope we can spread the magic of Swan Lake not only to ballet lovers but also to those who have not yet discovered ballet.
In our dance productions, we will present three programmes, which will allow us to either showcase a different side of the company or pay homage to the origin of modern dance in Japan. In November, we will have The Rite of Spring and The Afternoon of a Faun by HIRAYAMA Motoko. The former is our signature piece which was created at NNTT and has been revived many times, and the latter is a new piece featuring many male dancers. It will be very exciting to see how our dancers tackle these challenging works.
In March 2023, we will present Dance to the Future. Each piece in this programme will be created as part of the "NBJ Choreographic Group", a project which was set up to discover and nurture the choreographic talent of our dancers. I firmly believe that a theatre is a place where we perform as well as create, so it is particularly important for us to continue these kinds of projects.
You will also see DANCE ARCHIVES in JAPAN, the fourth in the series of revival works by Japanese modern dance pioneers. It has been five years since we last did this project, but I believe it is particularly important for our future that a new generation of dancers continues to perform these iconic dance works created by the choreographers who have shaped the style of Japanese modern dance.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who supports NNTT and NBJ during this difficult time. Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to keep moving forward, keeping the flame of hope alive for the performing arts. Even though the end of the pandemic is not yet in sight, we shall continue to do our best in the new season, and we look forward to welcoming you to the theatre.