This jazz waltz was composed on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bomb blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Entitled Orizuro, it commemorates the plaintive courage of a 12-year old radiation victim, Sadako Sasaki.
Click here to listen to Orizuro.
Inspired by an ancient Japanese legend which promised good luck to those who make 1,000 paper cranes, she made 644 before leukemia claimed her in 1955. Her classmates completed the 1,000 orizuro, and Sadako was buried with them.
In 1958, a statue in her honour was built at the Hiroshima Peace Park, and since then millions have been inspired to make paper peace cranes.
With the floor lit to appear like shimmering water, dancers dressed as stylized paper cranes move with floating, classical precision and poise to the solo piano, then shudder with the minor chords as the shadow of an airplane appears above.
A flash appears, then the dancers shatter and flatten in slow motion in an outward concentric circle.
Sadako appears, running first with joy, then in slower and slower motion, circling the cranes, then re-assembling the dancer/cranes who come to life as she repairs and kisses the next one.
Visibly tiring, she sinks slowly to the floor as the cranes whirl around her, then majestically fly offstage.