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The Prelude to Winter / The Showcase




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Picture Credit: princesslucia


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English Title: The Prelude to Winter / The Showcase
Japanese Title: 秋・・・冬への前奏曲 / ザ・ショーケース
Romanized Title: Aki ... Fuyu he no Zensoukyoku / Za Shookeesu

Troupe: Flower
Year: 1990
Performances: Takarazuka Grand Theater, 9/21 - 10/30
Shinjin Kouen Performance: Takarazuka Grand Theater,

The Prelude to Winter:

Author/Director: Tani Masazumi
Music By: Yoshizaki Kenji, Hashimoto Kazuaki
Choreography: Hayama Kiyomi, Shou Sumire
Conductor: Nomura Youji
Shinjin Kouen Director:

The Showcase:

Author/Director: Yokozawa Hideo
Music By: Nakamoto Kiyozumi, Odakane Bonpei, Kuratomi Shinichi
Choreography: Yamada Taku, Sumi Masayuki, Nishida Yukio
Conductor: Okada Yoshiki

Cast

RoleCastShinko Cast (Takarazuka)Shinko Cast (Tokyo)
Jan Janaczech / Yuri MikhajlovOoura Mizuki
Nadia BeneshHibiki Mito Morina Miharu Shiraki Ayaka
Count KomarovskiAsaka Jun Kouju Tatsuki Takaragi Meri
Tatiana (Nadia's mother)Kitakouji Miho Hyou Yuuka
Leo Schurtz (A smuggler)Misa Noeru Tachibana Sae
AdlonIsono Chihiro Shibuki Jun
Andrzej (a dancer)Anju Mira Shiokaze Kou
Baroness KesslerKozue Manami Kirihara Shouko
Lubor (Nadia's brother)Maya Miki Makoto Tsubasa
Kastner (Helmsman)Kaji Issei Shizuki Asato
SelesAika Mire Hatsukaze Midori
Julia (Janaczech's dance partner)Hana Youko Natsume Kana
KraussMakoto Tsubasa Kizuki Ayumu
Renate (Count's secretary)Kousaka Chiaki Shiraki Ayaka
KarelKouju Tatsuki Iori Naoka
DmitriShibuki Jun
Gino (Leo's brother)Oomai Kaori Ootomo Reika
UptonTakumi Hibiki
IvanovShizuki Asato
StefanNatsushiro Rei
HannaMorina Miharu Asaki Yui
Gisela (Janaczech's dance partner)Shiraki Ayaka Yumeno Chikoto
MasarykShiokaze Kou

Other Cast: Mineoka Nachi, Kagami Chitose, Takatsuki Shou, Kurokawa Miyuki, Shino Yuka, Moemi Serika, Oogi Chihiro, Asakaze Yuki, Shou Tsukasa, Hiroki Sachi, Yukino Marie, Hama Shioka, Morotori Ai, Michi Akari, Shiraho Mari, Sagano Yuri, Himiya Reiko, Sagano Yuri, Futaba Karen, Shihou Akeno, Aya Hiromi, Misaki Suzuna, Kaori Yutaka, Masono Arisu, Akiyoshi Akane, Iori Naoka, Ibuki Kazu, Mizuki Ai, Maio Tsubasa, Shiki Kaoru

Summary

WARNING!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!


The Prelude to Winter


In 1929, deep in the forest of Bohemia, a couple was trying to escape from their own country, Czecho-Slovakia, to Germany. The man, Jan Janaczech, was a Czech dancer and the woman was his dance partner, Nadia Benesh, a Slovak. The great discord between the two races of Czecho-Slovakia has driven the lovers to seek a place for their love and their art in Berlin. Berlin was thought to be even more cosmopolitan and liberal than Paris.

Lubor, Nadia's brother, pursued the couple. Lubor, a freedom fighter in the Slovak independence movement, tried to kill Janaczech. Nadia was shot trying to protect her loved one from her brother and Jan escaped alone into the forest, broken-hearted over Nadia's death.

In the treaties which marked the end of the First World War, Czecho-Slovakia won its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy in 1918. The majority race, the Czechs, were at odds with the other major group, the Slovaks. Germans, Magyars and other ethnic groups made up the rest of the population. The ethnic Germans wanted Germany to make their part of the country a German state. Czecho-Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, the U.S.S.R. and Poland were constantly quarreling over their borders.

At the end of World War I the collapse of the German Empire left a vacuum which was filled by the cosmopolitan high culture of the newly formed Weimar Republic. Count Komarovski's new cabaret "Weltbürger" (a cosmopolitan) was the dynamic heart of Berlin's artist life. The Count provided a stage for young refugee artists who flocked to Berlin in pursuit of freedom of expression. Smuggling made the Count wealthy and the cabaret's aristocratic and industrialist patrons gave him political influence.

In 1930, the opening of the second Russian Ballet Company in an evening of music and dance at "Weltbürger" created a sensation in Berlin. The star of the troupe was Yuri Mikhajlkov. In fact he was Jan Janaczech. He had been rescued in the Bohemian forest by a pair of Count Komarovski's smugglers, the brothers Leo and Gino Schurtz. He had lost the things he held most dear, his home land and Nadia. And so, without difficulty he assumed a fictitious character. The real Jan had died and left Yuri to have love affairs without love and to dance to block out the pain. His dance partners, Gisela then Julia, became his lovers.

And then in 1935, Nadia reappeared. She hadn't been killed as Jan believed. Her mother had nursed her back to health. Her mother, Tatiana, detested Czechs and Nadia's only hope of finding Jan was to leave Slovakia. She disguised herself as a male dancer.

Jan was stunned to find that she lived. Nadia imagined Jan was in love with Julia. Cruel misunderstanding separated the time.

In 1938 at Baroness Kessler's party Jan learned that the Nazis planned to use the unrest between the Czechs and the Slovaks to occupy Czecho-Slovakia without bloodshed. Jan hated the Nazis and planned an anti-Nazi satire for his company to perform. Janaczech and his company bravely and boldly mocked the Nazi regime from the stage of the "Weltbürger". The members of the troupe then fled home to help defend their birthplaces. They promised to all gather again when peace returned. Count Komarovski sold his cabaret to Baroness Kessler. After rescuing his secretary, Renate, from being sent to a Jewish concentration camp, they fred to freedom.

The Schurtz brothers helped Jan reach Bratislava where he disclosed the Nazi plot. He appealed to the two races for a reconciliation to save Czecho-Slovakia. Troops of Czechs and Slovaks were ready to fight each other. Janaczech marched in front of them, paused, then, began to dance and burst into song, the national anthem of Czecho-Slovakia....



The Showcase


Scenes 1-3 Prologue

We hear the rapid beats with fanfare. The star of the show sings the theme song. While the star is singing, all the members appear from a big show case one after another and dance. This is the bright opening.

The Star ~ Ooura Mizuki
Singer (man) ~ Asaka Jun
Singer (woman) ~ Hibiki Mito


Scenes 4-8 The Light and the Shadow

Waves which are made out of feather fans appear in darkess. With famous operatic arias, water spirits dance a ballet. The scenery changes to Venice then, with a couple dancing beautifully.

Dancer (man) ~ Ooura Mizuki
Dancer (woman) ~ Hibiki Mito
The water spirit S ~ Asaka Jun
The water spirits ~ Anju Mira, Maya Miki
Singer S ~ Mineoka Nachi
Singers ~ Kozue Manami, Natsume Kana, Kousaka Chiaki, Hana Youko



Scenes 9-11 The Stars and Stripes

In front of the big Stars and Stripes, several couples dance and sing rhythmically on popular American melodies. And then an old-fashioned passenger coach appears for all the members to go aboard and exit.

Young American (man) ~ Asaka Jun
The master of the ceremonies ~ Misa Noeru


Scenes 12-15 A Song and a Dance

A lady appears out of a mirror and sings about the pleasures of travels and musicals. And then three youths join her to dance and sing together. The lady transforms to a young boy and smartly dances with other to the beats of the Latin.

The lady / Young gay ~ Ooura Mizuki
Gays ~ Asaka Jun, Anju Mira, Maya Miki
Gal ~ Hibiki Mito


Scenes 16-17 The East and the West

Comparing the confrontation of the East and the West with the game of the chess, two groups of dancers represent the games in a modern ballet. After the ballet, dry bones in darkness and sing the comic "Dry Bones" song.

Singer ~ Asaka Jun
The dancers of the chess ~ Anju Mira, Maya Miki
Comic singers ~ Tachibana Sae, Omai Kaori


Scenes 18-19 The French Can-Can

One male-part dancer and the all-cast Can-Can dancers sing and dance cheerfully.


The male-part dancer ~ Ooura Mizuki
Can-Can dancers ~ All the members


Scene 20 Finale

On the grand stairs, the star of the show sings the theme song that is arranged ballade style. The entire cast joins in a colorful grand promenade.

Gentlemen ~ Ooura Mizuki, Asaka Jun
Lady ~ Hibiki Mito

Other Information

  • The Takarazuka performance was the last show for Michi Akari

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