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Friday, Dec. 12, 2003


Group to dance to Beethoven's ninth

A 200-member performance group will combine a chorus line with orchestral music in a unusual 2-hour show Dec. 14 featuring the music of J.S. Bach and the nation's most popular yearend song -- "Daiku," or Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

The Tokyo-based O.F.C. (Orff Festival Chorus), led by Hiroyuki Shiba, began exploring this combination of choral art and dance in 1995. This year's show will mark O.F.C.'s third performance of "Daiku" as "choral-dance theater."

On stage will be a choir of 100 people who also dance, a 60-member orchestra, more than 30 professional dancers, and four soloists.

Award-winning ballet dancer Tatsue Sata will serve as art director, while acclaimed modern ballet dancer Kenshi Nomi will play Beethoven as the group tries to encapsulate the life of the musician and the tumultuous era he lived in.

"While many people go to listen to a performance of Symphony No. 9 at this time of the year, ours will be very unique," Shiba said. "The biggest feature of our performance is the dance/musical power of people en masse."

The performance starts at 6 p.m. Sunday at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan near JR Ueno Station and includes a 20-min. intermission. Tickets range from 3,000 yen to 9,000 yen.

Advance tickets are being sold through O.F.C at (03) 3367-2451. For more information, call the above number, e-mail O.F.C. at HZU04357@nifty.ne.jp or visit the group's home page at member.nifty.ne.jp/ofc (Japanese only).

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