The author and the exact date of origin are unknown, but it is believed that the story was written around 900. The story details the life of Kaguya-hime, a princess from the Moon who is discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant. After she grows, her beauty attracts five suitors seeking her hand in marriage, whom she turns away by challenging them each with an impossible task; she later attracts the affection of the Emperor of Japan. In the end, Kaguya-hime reveals her celestial origins and returns to the Moon.
The Tokyo National Ballet is known for classical choreographies by Maurice Béjart, Jiri Kylian and John Neumeier, but also for contemporary dance by Mats Ek and William Forsythe. Shortly before its 60th anniversary in 2024, the company now ventures a centrepiece of Japanese literature. The Tokyo National Ballet will go on tour with this new work internationally, the premiere of the whole ballet (3 acts) will take place in October 2023.
Jo Kanamori moved to Europe at the age of 17, where he studied with Maurice Béjart, among others. He made his debut as a director and choreographer at the age of 20, as a member of the Nederlands Dans Theater. After collaborating with European dance companies for a decade, he returned to Japan. In 2004 he founded his own dance company Noism. He has won numerous awards, including the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in 2007 and the Niigata Nippo Culture Award in 2008.
Music by Claude Debussy