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Childhood, a time of purest innocence, is also a spring of dark imagination. Maurice Bejart, French choreographer and collaborator with the Tokyo Ballet in the 1990s, took the childhood and life of writer Yukio Mishima as his muse when creating the original ballet “M” in 1993, but his imagination of the title “M” also evokes “mort” (death), “mer” (ocean), and “mythologie” (mythology) to create a metaphysical allegory not intended as pure biography.

This month, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Mishima’s death, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan is showing Bejart’s “M” with most of its original cast. Former Bejart Ballet Lausanne star, Juichi Kobayashi — whose retirement from ballet seven years ago due to intervertebral disk degeneration left many fans disappointed — will reprise the role of Shi, while Naoyoshi Nagase, a rising soloist, debuts in the role of Saint Sebastian.

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