Brushing with authority

| Feb 7, 2010

Brushing with authority

I will never forget the day I went to a show titled “Embracing Asia: Taeko Tomiyama Retrospective 1950-2009,” which was one of 370 art exhibits by creators from 40 countries comprising the fourth Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial staged over 50 days last autumn at locations ...

Theater star brings new tricks to the stage

Jan 22, 2010

Theater star brings new tricks to the stage

In the summer of 2008, a shockwave hit the world of Japanese theater when Keishi Nagatsuka announced he was taking a yearlong break from the stage to take a government-sponsored sabbatical in London. After launching into his stage career while still in high school, ...

Cuts fear clouds a year of diversity and innovation in Japan theater

Dec 25, 2009

Cuts fear clouds a year of diversity and innovation in Japan theater

Following the landmark change of government in August, meetings of its Budget Screening Committee have for the first time been opened to the public. Sadly, though, when that committee got round to arts financing in November, many members harshly criticized the amount awarded to ...

U.K. 'samurai' lands in Japan

| Dec 4, 2009

U.K. 'samurai' lands in Japan

When U.S. President Barack Obama bowed to the Emperor during his visit to Japan last month, the headline of The Japan Times read: “U.S. conservatives: Obama bowed too deeply to Emperor.” While some Americans accused the U.S. commander in chief of “groveling to a ...

Choreographer finds harmony in simplicity

Nov 27, 2009

Choreographer finds harmony in simplicity

Mention Belgium and you might think of chocolate or beer, but it also occupies a special position in the world of contemporary dance. Back when Europe’s contemporary dance scene began to bloom in the 1980s, Belgium produced a large number of its central figures, ...

England's War of the Roses is being fought in modern-day Tokyo

Nov 6, 2009

England's War of the Roses is being fought in modern-day Tokyo

Back in July, at a New National Theatre Tokyo (NNTT) press conference to herald this autumn’s special staging of William Shakespeare’s nine-hour-long “Henry VI” trilogy, Hitoshi Uyama, 56, its director, declared his intention to go beneath and beyond the blood, guts and gore of ...

Tokyo theater scene gets kiss of life

| Oct 23, 2009

Tokyo theater scene gets kiss of life

The Edinburgh theater and street-performance festival in Scotland annually sends a buzz round the arts world; France’s Avignon invariably features a cordon bleu international menu; and Adelaide and Singapore vie for the Asia-Pacific spotlight. Way back in 1988, Tokyo also aimed to be in ...

Butoh master Maro finds 'G'

Oct 9, 2009

Butoh master Maro finds 'G'

Just seven months after the box-office and critical success of his magnificent and divine dance program “Symphony M,” Akaji Maro is set to stage a new production. The 66-year-old butoh master is presenting “G. wa Iku,” a new, largely solo program (with a female ...

It is in the East and Juliet is a ballet dancer named Shoko

Oct 9, 2009

It is in the East and Juliet is a ballet dancer named Shoko

Shoko Nakamura, the 29-year-old principal dancer of the Staatsballett Berlin, is back in Japan for a well-earned vacation and to make her debut in a classic role. Known simply as “Shoko” throughout the international ballet world, she will be playing the passionate female lead ...