Music: Ziegfeld in a Kimono

It might have been the Winter Garden in 1935. The girls drifted languidly down an outsized ramp while the music came pumping out of the pit like an echo from a Ziegfeld revue. A couple whisked onstage to do a comic turn, punctuated with the oddly archaic slang of the hepcat: "Hey, baby! Let's have a ball!" Occasion : the Manhattan opening of Japan's all-girl Takarazuka Dance Theater, an amalgam of the Folies-Bergere, the Radio City Rockettes, and native Kabuki styles.

Founded four decades ago as a "musical bridge between East and West," Takarazuka...

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