Natsume Date

For Natsume Date's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Korea's new 'Goddess' of musicals

Sep 17, 2014

Korea's new 'Goddess' of musicals

The central Seoul district of Daehangno is renowned for its small theaters in much the same way as Shimokitazawa is in Tokyo. But whereas the latter boasts teens of venues, Daehangno has upward of 140 — so really there’s no comparison. That remarkable concentration ...

A dream comes true for ballet's star

Sep 3, 2014

A dream comes true for ballet's star

“I told Matthew (Bourne), ‘You probably don’t know how much I’ve waited for this day. I’ve wanted to do this work so much that I’ve almost been chasing you around’ — and now my dream’s suddenly come true, I feel like I’m floating on ...

SPAC's teen 'Dream' comes true

Aug 13, 2014

SPAC's teen 'Dream' comes true

Mount Fuji towers nearby, and the hills around are covered with beautiful tea fields, while occupying a huge, 21-hectare plot of greenery dotted with theaters and rehearsal spaces is the home base of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center. In the words of the French-based, Cameroon-born ...

Europe's rich tapestry unites two contrasting theater fests

Aug 6, 2014

Europe's rich tapestry unites two contrasting theater fests

As I often go to theater festivals in Europe, I was delighted to hear about the Schweizer Theatertreffen (Swiss Theater Encounter), a brand-new event being held in May. And since I’d already planned a trip that month to the Berlin Theater Festival, it was ...

'Scary stories' series reaches limit

Jun 25, 2014

'Scary stories' series reaches limit

In “Hyakumonogatari,” a 1911 novella by the great author and translator Ogai Mori, the protagonist explains that its title refers to a traditional way of telling ghost stories, saying: “In hyakumonogatari (meaning ’100 tales’), people gather together and arrange 100 candles. Each person tells ...

Cocoon Kabuki enters a new era

Jun 18, 2014

Cocoon Kabuki enters a new era

Theatre Cocoon in the Bunkamura performance-arts hub of Tokyo’s vibrant Shibuya district has always been a popular venue specializing in new works by fresh contemporary writers. Emblematic of this is Cocoon Kabuki, its unique series begun in 1994 under the then Artistic Director Kazuyoshi ...

Yang Liping speaks out

May 21, 2014

Yang Liping speaks out

“My dance is not something I learned from someone; my mentor is nature and I learn from watching nature,” is how the Chinese star Yang Liping explained the roots of her art in a recent interview for The Japan Times. Now aged 55, Yang ...

Tokyo fans thrill to 'Michaelism'

May 14, 2014

Tokyo fans thrill to 'Michaelism'

In England in 1999, after the huge success of the ABBA-songs show “Mamma Mia,” the theater scene became awash with “jukebox musicals.” From 2002′s reasonably successful Queen-based “We Will Rock You” and “Taboo,” which drew on the music of Boy George/Culture Club, to the ...

Surrender yourself to 'Fuerza Bruta' fun

May 7, 2014

Surrender yourself to 'Fuerza Bruta' fun

Standing around with a drink in your hand as if you were on the dance floor of a club might not be a good idea at a Diqui James production. In “Fuerza Bruta,” which premiered in 2005 and continues its evolution in Tokyo this ...

Chasing a Phantom of success

Mar 26, 2014

Chasing a Phantom of success

Based on “Le Fantôme de l’Opéra,” a 1911 novel by the French author of detective fiction, Gaston Leroux, and transformed into a musical composed, co-written and produced by Englishman Andrew Lloyd Webber (now Baron Lloyd-Webber), “The Phantom of the Opera” was first produced in ...