I believe this is a first for a ballet, as I can't find reference to the Japanese fairy tale being re-created in this particular dance medium, but it's not just a performance either. This special fairy tale presentation by the Asia Society Texas, in collaboration with the Houston Ballet will take place alongside a textile exhibit and interactive presentation, as well as storytelling.
Tsuru, translated as The Crane Wife, is one of Japan's best known fairy tales and tells the story of a crane that CHOOSES to become a woman and be the wife of the man who releases her from a hunter's trap (or, alternately, removes an arrow and binds her wound, then sets her free). The tale (which you can read HERE) is rather tragic as, inevitably, a crane cannot remain married to a human, and as such, is perfect fodder for a classical ballet story.
The tale has been unforgettable for me ever since I first read it as a child; the transformations, the images of white, black and red, a wife's secret and the complications love and relationships bring, all so elegantly woven together. I love this fairy tale.
|Official artwork for "Tsuru" with Asia Society Texas & Houston Ballet|
I've put together some excerpts from articles listed as sources below, to piece together the overview for you and to highlight the emphasis on the tale, why it's so fascinating and why the multi-media format of this event reflects it as well:
I really wish I could go to this! I will have to watch for any reports and photos of the special event.
It's exactly the sort of collaborative storytelling experience that makes a big impression, even more-so today, in the era where so much information-overload is at our fingertips. To experience this 'live tale' can be life changing.
Here's the press copy for the overall event:
Storytelling traditions and the uses of textiles are varied throughout Asia. Our focus for the first Creation Station of 2015 will be The Crane Wife, known as Tsuru no Ongaeshi in Japanese, which recounts how the life of a broken-hearted man is transformed when he rescues an injured crane. We will create wing designs from yarn, bookmarks from cardboard looms, and felt pouches. We will also exhibit selected Asian textiles for visitors to learn about the myriad of styles across the continent.
Interested in this program? Asia Society invites you to join us for a beautiful retelling of The Crane Wife folktale through music and movement in collaboration with Houston Ballet.
Saturday, June 27 at 7:30. Sunday, June 28 at 2. $25–35. Asia Society Texas, 1370 Southmore Blvd. 713-496-9901. asiasociety.org
(Artistic Director) Matthew Ozawa says the work has universal appeal. "We as humans relate easily to stories of myth, especially those deeply impacted by transformations and metamorphosis," he says. "They help uncover and reveal deep universal truths of who we are."
|Tsunekazu The Grateful Crane - Gion Odori 2008|
Sources: HERE, HERE & HERE