News Archive


The New National Theatre, Tokyo Opens the 2010/2011 Ballet Season in Splendid Style with ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café and other Works

On October 27, 2010, the curtain rose on the 2010/2011 ballet season with the premiere of ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café.

The performance featured a triple bill of three jewels selected by David Bintley, who this season assumes the post of artistic director (Ballet & Dance) for the New National Theatre, Tokyo (NNTT). Bintley’s selection of these pieces was based on his belief that a programme of carefully selected short ballets comprising exceptional music, artistry, and choreography can be as stimulating and enjoyable as a full-length piece and can be extremely satisfying.

The audience expressed their pleasure with the premiere: “It was very satisfying to see three such different pieces.” “It was a very pleasant, mature ballet. We are really looking forward to seeing what this company does under Mr. Bintley’s leadership.” “He really brought out the best in each dancer. We can’t wait to see what is next.”

Among those in attendance were British Ambassador David Warren, as well as ambassadors and cultural attachés from Russia, Portugal, Turkey, and five other countries, who all proclaimed it to be a wonderful performance. “The National Ballet is the pride of Japan,” they agreed and offered their heartfelt congratulations on the opening of the new season.

The first ballet on the triple bill was The Firebird, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. It was a forceful opening that featured the entire company dancing on a luxurious, newly designed stage.

The second piece was Symphony in C. The National Ballet of Japan at the NNTT takes pride in its high standards and this piece vividly depicts the beauty of classical ballet.

The final piece was ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café. This humorous dance contains a deep, hidden message, creating a performance that leaves a strong impression that lingers in the memory.

We hope that you will come to the theater to see this first step in what represents “A New Direction” for Artistic Director Bintley and for the NNTT’s National Ballet of Japan.

Following the performance, Ambassador and Mrs. David Warren visit with Artistic Director Bintley and the dancers on stage to wish them well.


Artistic Director Bintley,
Executive Director Okabe Shuji,
Portuguese Ambassador and Mrs. Joao Pedro ZANATTI

Director of British Council Jason James,
Artistic Director Bintley, President Toyama Atsuko


Russian Ambassador Mikhail Mikhailovich Bely,
British Ambassador David Warren,
Turkish Ambassador Selim Sermet Atacanli,
Artistic Director Bintley

Artistic Director Bintley and the dancers of the National Ballet of Japan