Natsume Date

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

'Entrance/Exit' shows the way for new arts fest

Dec 17, 2014

'Entrance/Exit' shows the way for new arts fest

Bulging like a half moon out into the Seto Inland Sea from Kyushu’s northeast corner, the Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita Prefecture may be remote and lack rail links to the rest of the country, but since time immemorial it has been a crossroads for ...

Sarajevo's fine MESS shines light from yet more darkness

Nov 26, 2014

Sarajevo's fine MESS shines light from yet more darkness

This year is the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and among commemorations worldwide, in Sarajevo, in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, there have been numerous events marking the June 28, 1914 assassination there of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife ...

Who cares what Faust looks like

Oct 8, 2014

Who cares what Faust looks like

German contemporary theater has only begun to be introduced in Japan this century, before when the term “Western theater” was generally associated with works by British or American directors that told a story and diligently portrayed the psychological state of the characters. In comparison, ...

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 ...