Jump to content

NBA Ballet Company Japan - Cinderella (Kobborg)


Recommended Posts

I saw the premiere. The performance was sold out quite quickly (50% seating restrictions applied but it seemed more than 50%

 

The production was very unique that the story was very different from the usual Cinderella story.

 

Here Cinderella is a girl who loves to dance.  whose stepmother is a ballet pianist and runs a small ballet school, where also the stepsisters are practicing,  Cinderella is forced to assist her stepmother's piano and not really allowed to join class, until a kind and generous ballet teacher allows her to join.  Once she joins the class her talent and passion is apparent, but she is forced to tidy up the class alone. A fairy godmother who looks very much like the teacher appears, and invites her to a journey. The characters on the ballet class's wall posters appears live, that is Odette from Swan Lake, Titania from Midsummer Night's Dream and the heroine from The Red Shoes. They encourage her to go on this trip. She is given a chance to dance the ballerina role with a talented dancer. 

 

Eventually Cinderella's talent is recognized and her dreams seems to come real, she is the Prima Ballerina and dances in a dazzling performance. But the clock strikes 12 o' clock and the magic melts away, she has to go back to reality. But was that a dream?  She makes a choice. 

 

So the prince only acts as the ballerina's partner and it is Cinderella's love of dance and making choices is the theme here. 

 

The production was beautiful, the first class sequence reminded me of Fleming Flynt's The Lesson in a way, with some dark humor. The ballet scene in the second act was indeed dazzling, beautiful corps de ballet formations. The three ballet characters were led by strong soloists and corps de ballet was excellent. Moreover, Akane Takada was stunningly beautiful. She showed her talent as an actress playing the bullied poor girl in the beginning but has a strong passion to become a dancer, her love of dance appears in her very strong technique and delicate, sensitive approach. Especially at the ballet performance scene, her solos were breathtaking. Ths and costumes were beautiful. (NBA Ballet Company set up a crowdfunding campaign for the costumes, they are a private company and had financial difficulties because like other companies they had their performances cancelled, and having a new ballet with reduced seating capacities mean they won't get any profit) 

 

Surprisingly, this was Akane Takada's first ever leading role in a full length piece in Japan and we could feel her bliss, being on stage after a long period of not being able to perform. As it was an entirely new work maybe some tweaking is needed but nevertheless it was a beautiful, very modern themed successful production and I wish this will be performed over and over. 

 

 

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful review and explanation of this different version of the story.  thank you Naomi.   
 

Akane is a very special ballerina ... excellent in all ways.  I hope she gets more chances to excel in London and Japan especially.  

Edited by FionaE
Typos
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, capybara said:

Thank you Naomi. It’s lovely that a Japanese audience has has the chance to see how wonderful Akane is. She is a big  in my eyes and you will see that she has many fans on here.

I guess I am certainly in the running for her biggest fan on here! 

 

Thanks for your lovely review Naomi - very pleased for you, but pretty jealous at the same time !

 

The little snippets of the rehearsals that   appeared on social media were   fascinating, and it seems to have all built up to into a wonderful performance of an exciting premiere. 

 

I am delighted for Akane of course, but also for Johan Kobborg and all the NBA dancers and backstage people involved.  May we all get to see live ballet again soon!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a short interview with Johan Kobborg speaking about this Cinderella production. (Later half is Akane Takada and Nao Nokubo the two Cinderellas but they speak in Japanese)

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 24/03/2021 at 14:05, Richard LH said:

I found a short snippet from the premiere on the following webpage,  yesterday.....today I am surprised but delighted that a 29 minute extract has just been added! 

It looks enchanting....

 

https://www.kobborg.uk/visuals 

 

 


Thank you so much for this link!

 

It seems Johan has been updating his website with all sorts of new photos and clips of his ballets ... both as a choreographer and as a dancer, I don’t remember seeing all these before.  
 

I’ve lost myself for an hour so far 🤣🤣🤣 watching a few and scrolling through photos ... many more to go 😉

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Dance Europe April/May 2021 has a good review of this premiere by  Yuki Nagano - however  it  only seems  available in the full (paid-for) version of the Magazine*,  not in the free selection of  content to be found at   https://www.danceeurope.net/  

The free content online does include this interview with Johan Kobborg:  https://danceeurope.net/japan/ヨハンコボー-インタビュー-johan-kobborg-interview/

One interesting snippet  is that Takada's "dazzling" second Act solo was not originally planned (the same music had been used in Act 1), but because she was so strong in the studio  Kobborg decided to do her justice.  Kobborg says " I've already used the same song earlier, and most of all, I already have Frederick Ashton's perfect choreography. But when the choreography started, Akane's technique was incredibly strong, and I came to think that it would be better to have a solo to show it. I also needed to show that my dream of becoming a ballerina came true".

 

* My first purchase of Dance Europe and it is certainly a good read....great  content and web links, including   interviews with  the RB's Marcelino Sambé, and the RBS's Christopher Powney, not to mention loads of stuff on other ballet companies. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

* My first purchase of Dance Europe and it is certainly a good read....great  content and web links, including   interviews with  the RB's Marcelino Sambé, and the RBS's Christopher Powney, not to mention loads of stuff on other ballet companies. 

 

It's only taken me years, but I've finally worked out where my local WH Smiths keeps the copies of Dance Europe and Dancing Times.  Not in the women's section - as I've found with certain other branches - and certainly not in the logical place along with the opera, music and theatre magazines.  I think it may have been somewhere near the fishing, or the military stuff of some description :(  

 

Anyway, now I've found out that they do in fact stock them, I may buy them more frequently.  Or just go for the electronic subscription.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...