The Prince of The Pagodas
Choreographed by David Bintley
World Premiere: National Ballet of Japan 2011
European Premiere: Birmingham Royal Ballet 2014
Music by Benjamin Britten
The design is a true celebration of Anglo-Japanese cultural collaboration. The starting point was the aesthetic of William Morris and Utagawa Kuniyoshi. The Japanese kimonos had an extraordinary colour scheme and fabric. They were stiff and unyielding to move in and the challenge was to invent a type of kimono that would work for classical dance. It was great to design the Yokai monsters and supernatural creatures.
“Rae Smith (the wizard behind the National Theatre’s War Horse) has looked to the 19th-century artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi, whose work inspired Bintley to re-address the story in the first place. The result is a production packed with serenely Mount Fuji-esque backdrops, lavishly billowing silk costumes, and delightfully outlandish, boggle-eyed monsters”
The Telegraph, 2014