Double dose of dancing hits Saitama

Sep 3, 2010

Double dose of dancing hits Saitama

A double bill of cutting-edge dance awaits fans at the Saitama Arts Theater this weekend. Under the title dancetoday 2010, the first part of this two-course feast of leading Japanese contemporary dance features is “Island of No Memories,” choreographed by international dance muse, Kaori ...

Can robots be chips off the Bard's block?

| Aug 15, 2010

Can robots be chips off the Bard's block?

Actors traditionally wish each other good luck before they go on stage by saying, “Break a leg!” In the not-too-distant future, they may instead be saying — through a voice simulator — “Blow a fuse!” Indeed, as leading Japanese dramatist Oriza Hirata recently wondered ...

With only a few new works a year, Ishinha is all about quality theater

Aug 6, 2010

With only a few new works a year, Ishinha is all about quality theater

Among all of Japan’s many theater companies, the innovative Osaka- based Ishinha (Reformers), founded in 1970 by its current director Yukichi Matsumoto, has stood out consistently. While most companies eye their bottom line, pack their schedules with different productions and move to Tokyo to ...

Condors hope to replicate event's magic

Jul 2, 2010

Condors hope to replicate event's magic

West Gate Park outside the Metropolitan Exit of Ikebukuro Station is a small oasis amid the hurly-burly of that northern Tokyo hub. With polished granite under foot, seating all around, a fountain, a (somewhat odd) statue and a small stage, the plaza is a ...

Lack of funds fail to stop Tokyo's young theater brigade

Jun 18, 2010

Lack of funds fail to stop Tokyo's young theater brigade

As a promising playwright, director and actor, 31-year-old Junichi Hirota highlights a cruel fact running through Japan’s theater world — namely that once technicians such as lighting engineers, sound people and set-builders are paid from box-office profits, there’s often little or nothing left for ...

Dancing for joy in Japan

Jun 6, 2010

Dancing for joy in Japan

As I sipped my vin rouge last week during an interval in “The Sleeping Beauty,” K-Ballet’s latest Tokyo production, a woman at the next table said to her companion: “I can’t believe that evil fairy was a man! I just naturally thought it was ...

Shizuoka festival takes the stage

Jun 4, 2010

Shizuoka festival takes the stage

The annual Spring Arts Festival Shizuoka is keenly anticipated by theater lovers across Japan thanks to its high quality of program selection. At the start of this year’s 11th festival, 51-year-old Satoshi Miyagi, artistic director at festival organizers Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC), declared ...