New National Theater Opera Tokyo
Set design: JEAN-MICHEL WILMOTTE
Choreographer: ROLAND PETIT
Composer: DUKE ELLINGTON
Lighting: JEAN-MICHEL DESIREE, assisted by MARC ANROCHTE
Costumes: HANAE MORI, E. ZEGNA, A. MARTINI, ROLAND PETIT
Dancers: Asami Maki Ballet and Charlotte Talbot, Tamiyo Kuzakari, Misae Shiga, Mizuka Ueno, Naoya Kojima, Luigi Bonino, Ryo Masaki, Giuliano Peparini, Kentaro Motita
Set design for the Duke Ellington Ballet, at the New National Theater opera in Tokyo, choreographed by Roland Petit.
The set design for Roland Petit's ballet "Duke Ellington", imagined by Jean-Michel Wilmotte at Tokyo's New National Theatre, combines aesthetics and ingenuity. The meeting of Roland Petit's narrative genius and Wilmotte's artistic vision gives rise to a visual and emotionally captivating show, in which each tableau is an exploration of form, colour and emotion. This staging plays with contrasts, depth and perspective.
In the first tableau, entitled “Sophisticated Lady”, Wilmotte presents geometry and pure lines. The spiral staircase takes centre stage, a structure beautifully lit by Jean-Michel Désirée.
For the second tableau, entitled “Hi-Fi Fo Fums”, he creates an open space, highlighting the freedom of movement of the dancers from the Tokyo Asami Maki Ballet. The geometric shapes are more fluid here, reflecting the modernity of the choreography.
The third tableau, ‘Ad lib on nippon’, takes a more sober but no less impactful approach. Set against a monochrome anthracite backdrop, a bright red slide becomes the focal point of the scene. The slide draws the eye and creates an intense focus on the dancer who launches himself down it from the wings. This dynamic, energetic entrance to the stage is inspired by the codes of the musical.
My passion was theatre sets. When you see at Les Amandiers, in Nanterre, that all you have to do to create the impression of a world is play with light and make a little sound of water, then you understand what it means to work with space.