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Friday, May 8, 2009
Dance for the green at heart
By TAI KAWABATA
The leading Portuguese dance troop Kamusuna Ballet Company, led by artistic director/ choreographer Cesar Augusto Moniz, are about to bring their vibrant exploration of contemporary themes through dance to Tokyo audiences.
The piece they will perform, "Love the Earth," which was first presented in Lisbon in 2008, was created at the request of UNESCO for the International Year of Planet Earth 2008.
Backed by digital audiovisual effects and classical and contemporary music, the piece will go beyond the formal dance performance structure to create a mystical, scientific and dreamlike atmosphere. Indeed, it aims to leave the audience in a hypnotic state, no less.
Born in 1963, Moniz studied at the Gulbenkian Ballet School in Lisbon and the Escola Centre de Danse Rosella Hightower in Cannes. He joined the Ballet Gulbenkian in 1993 and became a principal dancer. He performed pieces by Rui Horta, Jiri Kylian, Amanda Miller, Nacho Duato and William Forsythe, and is also known to be interested in Japanese culture, including Shintoism and Buddhism. His company's name, Kamusuna, is an invented Japanese word composed of three kanji, meaning "deity," "lord" and "becoming."
He will bring six dancers — Ana Sofia Leite, Carina Monteiro, Catia Brazao, Guzman Rosado, Joao Cabaca and Teresa Alves da Silva — who will share the stage with Kanae Maezawa and Shintaro Hirahra, while the counter tenor Manuel Bras da Costa, with musicians Ines Barata (violin), Ilda Ortin (piano), Edouardo Sbaci (viola) and Elizabeth Davis (percussion), provide the accompaniment.
"Love the Earth" is at 7 p.m. on May 16 and at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 17 at Session House (Yarai-cho 158, Shinjuku-ku; near Kagurazaka Station on the Tozai subway line;  3266-0461). Tickets are ¥3,500 (¥3,000 in advance, ¥2,000 for students and ¥1,000 for elementary and middle school children). For more details, visit www.session-house.net or call (03) 3266-0461.