Kyoto experiments with its cultural image

Oct 22, 2010

Kyoto experiments with its cultural image

The inaugural Kyoto Experiment aims to present a taste of modernity in Japan’s old capital, rather than the traditional stuff everyone already knows. The monthlong performing arts festival features 10 main programs, including three from abroad. The overseas contingent includes “Mirai no Watashi (Me ...

Cultural gems host theater's treasures

Sep 17, 2010

Cultural gems host theater's treasures

There are currently 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan, ranging from the pristine Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido’s north to Okinawa’s Ryukyu castles. In 2006, UNESCO in Japan teamed up with the Asahi newspaper to combine the sites with the nation’s rich heritage of ...

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 ...