JAPAN TOUR '99 WINTER
Their sencond tour started November 11th, and will continue until December22nd.
Totally they give 22 shows throghout Japan.
The programme of the show are including various dance aspects. In "Birds and the Bs" (ch. Simon Rice) , they show very witty and comical essence. Along with the solo piano play of various Bach music, three male dancers and ladies corps made up 'boys'n girls..'sweet comedy, as you understand the original meaning of birds and bees. I saw two different cast, first one; Gary Avis as the lead and Stuart Cassidy and Matthew Dibble are the supporting roles, was so funny. The other cast; Teddy Kumakawa as the lead and William Trevitt and Michael Nunn as the supporting roles was much more adult and danceable team.
The second one was "Symphonic Variations"(ch. Frederick Ashton). This masterpiece of Ashton was introduced to Japanese audience for the first time. Maybe I do not have to write some guide words about this ballet , and the special gift of all is Viviana Durante as the leading female dancer for this occation. She showed everything required in this piece; beautiful line, musicality and neat steps. In the first cast, Durante danced with Kumakawa as the leading couple and Yukako Sakakibara with Michael Nunn, Mikako Tokui with Trevitt.
As the second cast, Durante with Cassidy as the lead, Tieka Shofield with Avis, and Yukako Sakakibara with Dibble. I believe they showed us what is the core of their dance and it was so important.
After the interval, we saw a series of classical male variations but it was on screen. Kumakawa's Albrecht, Nunn's Frantz in Coppelia, Trevitt in Satanella(aka carnival of Venice), Cassidy's solo from Nutcracer, Avis's prince of Sleeping Beauty and Dibble as Bluebird and so on. When Kumakawa's Basilio's part finished, the situation turned into a cafe. A young boy in a cafe, Dibble, applaused his dance, but he answered "but they(classical ballet) aren't the dance we would like to show the audience now ". Now they started very fashionable Tango sequences with live bands, and it continued about 40 min. as a grand piece called "Baron's Cafe".
A young boy works at the cafe dances with a cute girl, A so gogeous lady, Viviana Durante dances with two guys, Nunn and Trevitt, with hat tricks, then two energetic male dance by Cassidy and Avis, and the star, Kumakawa came back. The guys dances very passionately and the ladies came in and made a woderful heat wave on stage. I saw Durante dance on heels and she was so sexy. A various music of Tango were very much suitable for their dance and I was so excited at the last moment.
I felt strong team power in every piece in a programme, although I thought Kumakawa's name was much more influencial in their first tour. I heard that their schedule in 2000 is already done and tight. I hope they will have debut performances in London near future.
The ticket were completely sold out and 99% of the audience were ladies. Men's toilets of the theatre turned into ladies' for the night only.
(my review is by the performances of 11th and 14th of November 1999. Bunkamura Orchard Hall)