Why was kabuki created

The Kabuki

Tokyo, 1983 to 1986: Éric Vu-An handles a katana (the Japanese long sword), Maurice Béjart (1927 to 2007) checks and chooses costumes, encourages rehearsals with soloists and the entire ensemble, thanks his staff warmly and with every touch phobia refreshingly free hugs for their contributions. A nearly nine-minute documentary by Jean Claude Wouters caught the mood of the development of the ballet The Kabuki and at the same time abducts not only attitudes in love with modernist architecture and fashion shows and mask-like close-ups of expressive faces of the performers into the aesthetics of the 80s.
Founded in August 1964 (as Tchaikovsky Memorial Tokyo Ballet), the Tokyo Ballet quickly achieved international fame. The ensemble gained special attention in 1968 when Maja Plissetskaya performed for the first time in Japan (1925 to 2015) and it may also have been the close connection between her and Béjart that led to the creation of the ballet The Kabuki contributed. The then general director Tadatsugu Sasaki Béjart asked for a choreography with great persistence for years: In 1983, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Tokyo Ballet, the latter gave his consent to the performance of one of his works and, after the performance, a ballet on the theme of “Kanadehon Chu ̄shingura - The Revenge of the 47 Ronins “. It was only after another two years that an agreement was reached on the scope of the work, and it was decided to hire the composer Toshiro Mayuzumi (1929 to 1997), who with Bugaku had created a one-act ballet score for George Balanchine (1904 to 1983) as early as 1962 and was particularly popular with the Austrian audience with the opera, which premiered in 1996 at the Landestheater Linz KojikiDays of the gods became known to entrust the music, the equipment was entrusted to Nuño Cortê-Real. In 1986 the time had come: With the premiere, a ballet saw the light of day, which immediately developed into a pillar of the repertoire of the ensemble and, according to Tokyo Ballet, has so far shown 197 times in 16 countries. Including on October 6, 1986, when the work was shown for the first time in the Vienna State Opera on the occasion of a guest performance by the ensemble. In the main role of Yuranosuke, Éric Vu-An, the Parisian Étoile who had not only given the premiere in Tokyo, danced together with Sylvie Guillem in ballets by Béjart such as Mouvement, rhythm, étude to Musique concrète by Pierre Henry (1927 to 2017) founded a radically new, hyperflexible ballet aesthetic that was trained in rhythmic gymnastics. At the latest as Guillem 1985 her first guest appearance with the Tokyo Ballet in Swan Lake completed, further circles had closed between Asian and European traditions, which resulted in The Kabuki Shake hands respectfully. Maurice Béjart himself wrote: “There is already the original Kabuki drama. I was not interested in doing it again, nor did I master the necessary techniques or the necessary philosophical ideas. Nor did I intend to imitate the original drama or create a work of classical ballet. What I wanted was to create 'something new' that went beyond these forms. The Kabuki has loyalty to the topic, an eternal as well as universal human concern. [...] With my ballet I wanted to point out the importance of the loyalty that modern man has lost. ”For that alone, one should embrace Béjart once again, posthumously.

Oliver Peter Graber


The Kabuki | Maurice Béjart
July 2nd, 3rd, 4th
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