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Misa Kuranaga of Boston Ballet steps up to help homeland

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / September 14, 2011

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Boston Ballet principal dancer Misa Kuranaga hosted a benefit for her home country of Japan at the Boston Ballet headquarters Monday night. “A Thousand Cranes,’’ which included a performance of Boyko Dossev’s “Crane’’ and Helen Pickett’s “Tsukiyo’’ and was emceed by Channel 7 reporter Janet Wu, was sold out, which thrilled Kuranaga. “I didn’t think it was going to be sold out so fast,’’ she told us during her last week of prep for the event. “I’ve never done this before. I’ve always been a dancer, but I’ve never been the one to host.’’ Kuranaga, who is from Osaka, said she planned to do her best to mingle as much as possible even though she would be spending part of the night entertaining guests as one of the evening’s performers. “But hopefully after the show, we have coffee and dessert,’’ she said, laughing. “Hopefully I’ll be able to change quickly and go down and meet people and thank them.’’ The night raised money for the Japanese Disaster Relief Fund Boston.