Making sure nothing is lost in translation

Sep 25, 2009

Making sure nothing is lost in translation

“The Coast of Utopia” a 10-hour-long trilogy of plays — comprising “Voyage,” “Shipwreck” and “Salvage” — was originally written in 2002 by Tom Stoppard for the National Theatre in London. An award-winning English playwright, Stoppard first shot to fame with “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are ...

'Soldier's Tale' to hit Japan

Sep 11, 2009

'Soldier's Tale' to hit Japan

Tokyo audiences have an opportunity this weekend to see a stage gem performed only 12 times before — and always in its birthplace of the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, home of the fabled Royal Ballet. Created by leading English choreographer Will ...

Be a fool and dance Bon-odori

Aug 21, 2009

Be a fool and dance Bon-odori

If you spend your life stuck in one of Japan’s concrete jungles, you may have never seen a Bon-odori (Bon-dance) performed at the summer Bon festivals held all over the country in towns and villages, where people dance in a circle or in line, ...

Playwright Tomohiro Maekawa finds the uncanny in the mundane

Aug 14, 2009

Playwright Tomohiro Maekawa finds the uncanny in the mundane

In February this year, 35-year-old Tomohiro Maekawa’s reputation was given a boost when he was nominated in both the best-playwright and best-director categories of the prestigious Yomiuri Theater Awards. Although Maekawa didn’t walk away with an award; the nominations, coming just six years after ...

East German backs Japan's public theaters

Jul 17, 2009

East German backs Japan's public theaters

Peter Goesnner was born in Leipzig, in the former communist East Germany, in 1962. His dream was to be a great football player, but 40 years later, the witty, easy-going German is in Tokyo directing “Sekishoku Elegy” (“Red Elegy”) by absurdist playwright Minoru Betsuyaku. ...

Noh, Shakespeare joined in a 'Tempest'

Jun 26, 2009

Noh, Shakespeare joined in a 'Tempest'

The acclaimed Noh stagings of Shakespeare by Ryutopia (Niigata Prefecture’s public theater) resume next month both at home and in Tokyo. As the theater’s sixth program, Yoshihiro Kurita — Ryutopia’s associate director and the director of all its Noh-Shakespeare works — has chosen the ...

How to conjure worlds from the fewest words

Jun 26, 2009

How to conjure worlds from the fewest words

One evening in late May, a cozy rehearsal room in Yokohama was more like a drill hall as Mikuni Yanaihara called for another run through a dance scene in her latest play, “Gonin Shimai” (“Five Sisters”). As a choreographer and dancer, 38-year-old Yanaihara first ...

See a rising ballet star

Jun 5, 2009

See a rising ballet star

After staging “Tales of Beatrix Potter,” a cheerful program for kids of all ages in February, then the beautiful and tragic love story of classical-dance masterpiece “Giselle” in May, K-Ballet’s offering for just four days this month is “Symphony No. 9″ by its 37-year-old ...

Toilet humor set for Tokyo theater

Jun 5, 2009

Toilet humor set for Tokyo theater

The title may be cheesy, but there’s plenty that’s memorable about the content of this politically astute musical, too. After opening in a small New York theater in 2001, “Urinetown” soon became such a hit that it was snapped up by Broadway producers and ...