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Ayako Takahashi

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

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 ...

Curtains up on 2015

Jan 1, 2015

Curtains up on 2015

Innovation adds sparkle to traditional forms Looking into the crystal ball of Japan’s traditional performing arts in 2015 reveals a sparkling blend of change and tradition. In what is its 120th year, the film and theater company and pillar of kabuki, Shochiku, will mark ...

Ballet meets noh in unique 'Feast of Beauty'

Dec 24, 2014

Ballet meets noh in unique 'Feast of Beauty'

No matter what the weather early next year, a really special show being staged once only in Osaka and Tokyo is sure to set ablaze the hearts of noh and ballet fans alike. Aptly titled “Bi no Kyoen (Feast of Beauty) 2015,” this will ...

Spain's ballet powers in

Nov 5, 2014

Spain's ballet powers in

After many years at the Paris Opera Ballet, Jose Carlos Martinez left that fabled company in 2011 when he reached its age limit of 42 for an etoile (principal dancer) — and took up the post of artistic director at the Spanish National Dance ...

Singin' ballet star leads top show's Tokyo cast

Oct 1, 2014

Singin' ballet star leads top show's Tokyo cast

Any pantheon of classic Western musical comedy films would include 1952′s “Singin’ in the Rain” starring the legendary actor and dancer Gene Kelly. Set in late- 1920s Hollywood as it was transitioning from silent films to talkies, it depicts a romance between an established ...

DNA eyes its Tokyo dance legacy

Sep 10, 2014

DNA eyes its Tokyo dance legacy

An exciting new dance festival named Dance New Air will debut in Tokyo from Sept. 12, featuring performances, symposia, workshops and film screenings at venues in the central Aoyama district. However, the back story to DNA is less exciting, as it has been slotted ...

Bunraku meets the Bard in new 'Sir Falstaff'

Aug 27, 2014

Bunraku meets the Bard in new 'Sir Falstaff'

The type of Japanese puppetry known as ningyō-jōruri (aka bunraku) has its roots in 17th-century Osaka. Since then, though, there will rarely if ever have been a bunraku play drawn from stories written a little earlier on the other side of the world — ...

Paris-based Oida still lives out his dreams

Jul 30, 2014

Paris-based Oida still lives out his dreams

Yoshi Oida has appeared in many works by the famed Paris-based English director Peter Brook, and in 2013 the Japanese actor who has, like him, also lived in the City of Light for more than four decades, was made a Commander of the Order ...

High-energy Ono conducts a rare 'Hoffmann' critique

Jul 2, 2014

High-energy Ono conducts a rare 'Hoffmann' critique

He is known best for the rapturously hysterical “Infernal Gallop” (aka “The Can-can”) from his 1858 operetta “Orpheus in the Underworld,” but the German-born, naturalized-French composer Jacques Offenbach (1819-80) is credited with just one full-length, serious opera — “The Tales of Hoffmann” — which ...

Roberta Marquez: a Juliet to die for

Jun 4, 2014

Roberta Marquez: a Juliet to die for

The Royal Ballet, generally considered to be the best classical company in the world, numbers some 100 dancers from teens of countries who are based at its magnificent and newly refurbished Opera House home in London. Among those, Brazilian-born Roberta Marquez has been dazzling ...