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Ayako Takahashi

For Ayako Takahashi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Japan's traditional performing arts getting set for the Olympics

Apr 26, 2016

Japan's traditional performing arts getting set for the Olympics

Spurred on by the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, many people involved in Japan’s traditional performing arts are preparing for the surge in overseas visitors expected in 2020 — notably the Japan Council, which manages the National Theatre, the National Bunraku Theatre and the National Noh ...

Japan's top ballerina recalls times shared with French star

Nov 24, 2015

Japan's top ballerina recalls times shared with French star

‘Sylvie’s retirement fills me with deep emotion. She is truly a ballerina who appears only once in 100 years. “In addition to her great physical ability, her large repertoire founded on a classical base but including modern and contemporary works is quite outstanding — ...

Star actor Mirai Moriyama shares his delight at being 'in a mess'

Sep 22, 2015

Star actor Mirai Moriyama shares his delight at being 'in a mess'

As the saying goes, “If you chase two hares, you’ll catch neither” — but award-winning actor Mirai Moriyama is proving the exception who’s broken this rule by adding “top-flight dancer” to his resume. Although the 31-year-old Kobe native actually started dance lessons at age ...

Queens' tale speaks to now

May 26, 2015

Queens' tale speaks to now

Though it’s 40 years since Italian playwright Dacia Maraini wrote “Mary Stuart,” this story of two queens — Elizabeth I of England and Ireland and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots — remains as relevant now as ever in its portrayal of two women burning ...

Top bunraku artist ensures his master's name lives on

Mar 25, 2015

Top bunraku artist ensures his master's name lives on

Traditional Japanese puppetry, known as bunraku, has its roots in 17th-century Osaka, but in the following century a variant emerged in which, rather than a puppet being handled by just one person, three performers working together operated each puppet in a play’s cast. In ...

All change for Kanze noh theater

Mar 18, 2015

All change for Kanze noh theater

Of Japan’s many traditional performing arts, noh is the most refined — and among its most prominent figures today is 55-year-old Kiyokazu Kanze, the 26th head of its largest faction, the Kanze School. A descendant of the father and son pair Kan’ami and Zeami ...

Malakhov brings borscht to ballet

Feb 4, 2015

Malakhov brings borscht to ballet

“In my free time when I’m not taking classes or conducting rehearsals, I like to go to theaters and museums — or just go shopping and visit different parts of the city,” Vladimir Malakhov, The Tokyo Ballet’s new artistic adviser explained during our recent ...

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

Jan 28, 2015

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

Known for its nightlife, its fleets of Ferraris and condos with sky-high prices, the affluent central Tokyo district of Roppongi will soon go where even that multinational neighborhood has never gone before — when the launch of a program named Roppongi Kabuki will see ...

Ichiyanagi opera aims to be 'total work of art'

Jan 14, 2015

Ichiyanagi opera aims to be 'total work of art'

As part of its 40th-anniversary celebrations, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama will stage a world-premier version of “Legend of the Water Flame,” an opera by the renowned composer Toshi Ichiyanagi that’s scored around a libretto by a fellow octogenarian, the poet Makoto Ooka. “Opera ...