A new production of David Bintley’s time-hopping comedy-romance by the National Ballet of Japan is one of the best ballets of its time and at the New National Theatre Tokyo, seeing it is more affordable than you might think.
Treat yourself to an elegant evening at the ballet in Tokyo, as the New National Theatre Tokyo’s 2012/2013 season opens with a performance of Leo Delibes’s Sylvia, produced by artistic director David Bintley.
A story featuring nymphs and shepherds and an Arcadian setting, Sylvia is a three-act ballet inspired by characters from mythology. The ballet is set to music by French composer Léo Delibes and premiered at the Palais Garnier in Paris in 1876. Interestingly, Sylvia was not critically acclaimed on its debut, only receiving a lukewarm appraisal. Since then, the production has been revisited by different choreographers over the years, including Birmingham Royal Ballet’s David Bintley.
Bintley produced his version of Sylvia in 1993, and the production already has a Japanese connection as it was created for famous Japanese ballerina Miyako Yoshida and her partner Kevin O’Hare, the next Director of The Royal Ballet. The artistic director revamped the plot and made it more accessible to audiences back in 2009. The latest revision was made for another Japanese dancer, Nao Sakuma and Chinese dancer and star of the film ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’, Chi Cao, and those two artists will be guesting at the ballet this season.
The story is about the Nymph, Sylvia, and her devoted admirer Aminta, who are brought together by Eros, the God of Love. As well as Sylvia, Aminta and Eros, the ballet features Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, Orion, the black hearted woodsman and a huge cast of Pirates, Slave Girls and Huntresses. Although rooted in antiquity, the story is given a modern and fresh setting in this latest version.
An evening at the ballet is perhaps the perfect way to transition into the cold season and take delight in watching the agile movements of dancers set to incredible music. As opposed to what people tend to believe, going to the ballet is affordable as there are different price ranges offered, so it makes for an exquisite indulgence.
When: Oct. 27-Nov. 3 (detailed calendar here)
Where: New National Theatre Tokyo (see map)
How much: ¥3,150~12,600