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Friday, Oct. 3, 2008

'Genji' retold in passionate tango


Staff writer

An Argentine tango themed on the "Tale of Genji," a Japanese novel written 1,000 years ago, will be performed this month in Tokyo and Nagoya.

News photo
Takes two: Argentine tango dancer Juan Guida plays the role of Genji with Polish dancer Agata Jargilo as his lover in "Jyoen."

The tango, titled "Jyoen" ("Passion of Fire"), mixes Argentine and Japanese arts and is being held as one of the events celebrating 110 years of friendly relations between Japan and Argentina.

The tango performance features a female character from "Genji," Rokujo no Miyasudokoro who is an older lover of Prince Genji, the hero of the tale. She is the beautiful and intelligent widow of a crown prince, but she loves Genji so much that her jealousy drives her to become a living phantom who tortures his other lovers.

Juan Guida, an Argentine tango dancer who has promoted tango in Japan since 1998, will play the role of Genji. Agata Jargilo, a Polish tango dancer, will play the role of Rokujo.

Yu Kosaka, a Japanese tango singer, will sing songs that express Rokujo's heartfelt feelings, while Fusetsu Suda, a professional Noh dancer, will play the role of Buddha, who saves the spirit of Rokujo.

Wakasanojo Tsuruga, a performer of joruri dramatic narrative chanting to music, will express the feelings of Genji's other loves.

A mix of Argentine and Japanese traditional music will accompany the dances, songs and chanting. Musicians from National Tango Academy of Argentina will play bandoneon, piano and other instruments. Japanese musicians will play shamisen, Japanese banjo, yokobue (Japanese flute), and taiko (Japanese drums).

The music was composed by Oscar de Elia, director of the national orchestra of Argentina, and Juan Trepiana, master and pianist of the National Tango Academy of Argentina. The dancers' costumes have been created by famed designer Junko Koshino.

The performance will be held in Tokyo on Oct. 10 and in Nagoya on Oct. 16.

The Tokyo performance will be at U Port Hall, a one-minute-walk from Osaki Hirokoji Station on the Tokyu Ikegami Line or a five-minute-walk from Gotanda Station on the JR Yamanote Line.

Performances start at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are ¥10,000, ¥8,500 and ¥7,000.

The Nagoya performance will be at Art Pia Hall on the 11th floor of Nadya Park, a four-minute-walk from Sakae Station on the Nagoya municipal subway Higashiyama Line. Tickets are ¥5,000 for adults and ¥3,000 for students.

For more information and reservations on the Tokyo performances, call Ticket Space at (03) 3234-9999. For Nagoya, call Classic Nagoya at (052) 678-5310.


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