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See a rising ballet star

by Nobuko Tanaka

After staging “Tales of Beatrix Potter,” a cheerful program for kids of all ages in February, then the beautiful and tragic love story of classical-dance masterpiece “Giselle” in May, K-Ballet’s offering for just four days this month is “Symphony No. 9″ by its 37-year-old founder, artistic director and leading dancer, ballet-world superstar Tetsuya Kumakawa. This is presented in a double bill with K-Ballet’s first staging of “Symphony in C,” an early work by the groundbreaking Russian- born choreographer, and pioneer of ballet in the Unites States, George Balancine (1904-83).

“Symphony No. 9,” choreographed by Kumakawa, had its world premiere 14 months ago as Akasaka Act Theater’s opening program. This time, Kumakawa has collaborated with top opera singers, including Maki Mori, and chorus members from the Fujiwara Opera Group, to present a truly grand and visually stunning stage that involves Kumakawa himself along with all his company’s dancers. Meanwhile, for “Symphony in C,” Kumakawa has given the lead to K-Ballet’s rising star, 20-year-old Yoshikazu Asada, who as a junior made a clean sweep of ballet competitions in and beyond Japan before joining K-Ballet as a Soloist in March.

With “Symphony No. 9″ now set to step up to this production at the world-class performance space of the Orchard Hall, and all ballet fans eager for the little-known talent of Asada to blossom at this lofty level, it’s obviously time to hurry up down to Shibuya to see for yourself what it’s all about.

“Symphony No. 9 & Symphony in C” runs from 11 till 14 June at Bunkamura Orchard Hall, an 8-minute walk from JR Shibuya Station. For more details, visit www.k-ballet.co.jp