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Dance > Contemporary

Kaguyahime (The Moon Princess)

Jirí Kylián, Nederlands Dans Theater

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Kaguyahime (The Moon Princess)


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Streaming Price (3 years) $480
Streaming Price (3 years) + DVD $555

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Kaguyahime is one of Japan’s oldest fairytales. The story of the mysterious Moon Princess inspired Jirí Kylián to create a full-length ballet and to commission a score from the Japanese composer Maki Ishii

Through its use of western percussion instruments and Japanese drums, the work combines both occidental and oriental elements, its rhythmic vitality providing a musical structure for the poetic tale. Woodwind instruments extend the tonal colour, as does the use of traditional Gagaku music from the Japanese court. 

When Jirí Kylián first discovered the fairytale, he found two compelling reasons to choreograph it. First, he was interested in the way the story combines realistic and supernatural elements as only fairytales can; and secondly, he was fascinated by what the tale reveals of Japanese culture through the interplay of the earth and the moon.

Using Ishii's music combining Western and Eastern sound elements, Kylian focused on the philosophical message behind the Kaguyahime story and created a highly charged performance in which dance, music and theatrical imagery have equal importance.

Dedicated to bridge the gap between modern dance and classical ballet, the Nederlands Dans Theater forged a reputation as one of the most innovative and exciting dance groups in Europe. Under Jiří Kylián’s visionary direction (from 1975 to 1999), the company’s international pre-eminence kept growing.

The world-renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián (Czechoslovakia, 1947) has been artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theater for nearly a quarter century. After having created three ballets for NDT (Viewers, Stoolgame and La Cathédrale Engloutie), Kylián became the company’s artistic director in 1975 together with Hans Knill. In 1978 he and Carel Birnie founded NDT 2, meant to offer young dancers the opportunity to develop their skills and talents and focus on maturing their artistic personalities. In 1991 he initiated NDT 3; a company that created opportunities for older dancers. NDT stood out as the first company worldwide that showed the three dimensions of a dancer´s life. After an extraordinary record of service Kylián handed over the artistic leadership in 1999, but remained the company’s house choreographer until 2009.

Since his last piece Mémoires d’Oubliettes for NDT in 2009, Kylián’s creative focus has shifted to more small scale projects and films. Kylián’s entire body of work counts 100 creations to date, of which 77 performed by NDT and no less than 75 were especially created for the company. Furthermore, he made pieces for companies worldwide such as the Stuttgart Ballet, the Opéra de Paris, the Munich Bayerisches Staatsballett, and the Tokyo Ballet.

Kylián received many prestigious, international awards and honours, such as Officer of the Royal Dutch Order of Orange-Nassau, Honorary Medal of Order for Arts and Science of the House of Orange given to him by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, honorary doctorate of the Juilliard School in New York and the Honorary Medal from the President of the Czech Republic. To this day, Kylián’s masterpieces are frequently performed by numerous dance companies and schools around the world.

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