Making its international debut at the Kennedy Center, New National Theatre Ballet, Tokyo has become a leading artistic force in Japan since its founding in 1997. Its repertoire includes classical and 20th-century works, as well as original creations by Artistic Director Asami Maki.
The company's engagement includes the full-evening Raymonda, Marius Petipa's last great work, not seen at the Kennedy Center in more than 20 years. Set in medieval Hungary, the ballet follows a young woman caught between the crusader to whom she is betrothed and the seductive powers of a Saracen warrior. Brimming with colorful dances, an entrancing dream sequence, and a thrilling duel between her suitors, Raymonda is perhaps most famous for its grand pas classique hongrois as part of Act III's lavish wedding celebration.
For one performance only, the company also performs a mixed repertory program. George Balanchine's Serenade is danced to the music of Tchaikovsky, while Maki's And Waltz features a score by Ravel. Nacho Duato's ethereal Duende, the Spanish word for elf or pixie, ventures into a magical forest accompanied by Debussy's otherworldly music for harp, flute, and strings.
Feb. 15 - 1 hr. 45 min. Mixed Repertory Program Serenade (Balanchine/Tchaikovsky) - 35 min. Intermission - 20 min. And Waltz (Maki/Ravel) - 20 min. Pause - 5 min. Duende (Duato/Debussy) - 20 min.
Feb. 16 & 17 - 2 hrs. 45 min. Raymonda (Maki after Petipa/Glazunov) Act I - 55 min. Intermisson - 20 min. Act II - 30 min. Intermission - 20 min. Act III - 40 min.