Tetsuya Kumakawa’s new project, which creates a new appeal for K ballet, will hold a launch performance in September. | Vogue Japan

Photo: Michael Slobodian

Michael Slobodian

For a quarter of a century since its establishment, K-Ballet has continued to produce gorgeous full-length works of classical ballet under the direction of artistic director Tetsuya Kumakawa. “Bunkamura K-BALLET Opto” is a project that “dancers/audiences can experience the same emotions and experiences as they once saw the abyss of dance by interacting with various artists and coming into contact with their works. This is a new project launched to realize Kumagawa’s desire to deliver it to everyone. Kumakawa is also the Artistic Director of Bunkamura Orchard Hall.

In this project, mainly under the direction of Rei Watanabe, the dance director of the K-Ballet Company (he will also serve as the dance director of K-BALLET Opto), original works by up-and-coming choreographers from around the world and other genres will be created based on K-ballet dancers. Performing works that capture the charm of dance from multiple angles, such as collaborations with Create a new light (= Opto) of K ballet and provide a vivid live experience to more people.

September performance “Petit Collection-Petit Petit Petit! will perform works choreographed by Mehdi Wallerski, Yuki Mori, and Rei Watanabe.

Wallerski, who will be making his first appearance in Asia, is a choreographer who is being hailed as the next artistic director of contemporary dance giant NDT (Netherlands Dance Theater). This time, he performed his representative work “Petite Ceremonie”. Through works full of humor and wit, which combine the background of classical ballet with the sense of the forefront of Europe, you may be able to catch a glimpse of a new side and individuality of K Ballet’s dancers.

Mori and Watanabe are commissioned to create new works. Mori is an influential figure who has served as the artistic director of dance at the Regensburg Opera in Germany for seven years. Watanabe has been nominated by many top choreographers in NDT, led by her master Jiri Kylian, and has danced many major roles. One of the purposes of this project is to create opportunities for artists like them, who have been active on the front lines overseas, to send their work from their home country of Japan to the rest of the world.

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