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Bamboo Moon (The Tale of Princess Kaguya)

Staged at twilight in the leafy Botanic Gardens, Bamboo Moon is based on the ancient Japanese story The Tale of Princess Kaguya and stars a youthful cast from Darwin’s Corrugated Iron.

The story – or monogatari – was written in the 10th century and follows the trials of a moon princess as she comes of age on Earth.

As a baby, Princess Kaguya’s mother reluctantly hid her in a stalk of bamboo on Earth, to be found by a poor bamboo cutter.

“It’s one of the oldest Japanese tales in history. Sort of like our Jack and the Beanstalk,” says director Kate Kelly. 

“When your family is pulling you one way but you want to stay true to who you are.”

To tell the magical story, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts is using an arsenal of skills including circus, music, movement and traditional drama, and have enlisted the help of the Australian Japanese Association of the NT (AJANT), who have helped contribute a traditional Japanese fan dance, music and costumes.

A live harpist and Japanese percussionist will evoke the spirit of the material, while the script has been adapted by local playwright Cj Fraser-Bell.

“Our core cast is aged from 14 to 25 and then the other kids (the youngest is seven years old) are fleshing out the circus and village scenes in the forest,” says Kelly.

The three free performances will also feature Japanese activities such as origami and are ideal for kids and adults. Take a picnic and enjoy the mysterious story of Kaguya in Darwin’s tropical moonlight.

See the event listing.

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