Cirque offshoot 7 Fingers has lofty ambitions

Feb 1, 2013

Cirque offshoot 7 Fingers has lofty ambitions

Since first touring its native province of Quebec in 1984, the self-styled “multifaceted creative force” that is Canada’s Cirque du Soleil has become a major global phenomenon with several permanent venues. In 2002, though, seven Cirque du Soleil members turned their backs on that ...

South Korean dance show aims for the eyes, not the ears

Jan 24, 2013

South Korean dance show aims for the eyes, not the ears

South Korean entertainment is excelling in a lot of disciplines, and stage performance is one of them. Now a groundbreaking action-drawing show, “Hero,” will take its turn trying to impress Japanese audiences. “Hero” embarks on a monthlong run at the Roppongi Blue Theater in ...

'Coriolanus' comes home — to Kyoto

Jan 23, 2013

'Coriolanus' comes home — to Kyoto

It’s a fair bet that many people at the Globe Theatre in London last May expected the Kyoto-based Chiten (Point) Company to present a stereotypically Japanese, samurai-style “Coriolanus,” complete with taiko drums and period armor. Instead, however, Japan’s contribution to the theater’s Globe to ...

Social awareness takes center stage

Dec 27, 2012

Social awareness takes center stage

Japan’s calamities of March 2011 — the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, and the start of an ongoing nuclear disaster — changed not only the social awareness of the general public who make up theater audiences, but also how dramatists approached their work. ...

From an underdog in the U.S. to Japan's top dog

Nov 29, 2012

From an underdog in the U.S. to Japan's top dog

Two years ago, 32-year-old director/translator Eriko Ogawa returned to Japan after 10 years in New York and presented a riveting production of “The Late Henry Moss,” Sam Shepard’s 2000 Pulitzer prize-winning tale of loves and hatreds in a frontier family way out West. Though ...

Classic tale gets multicultural

Nov 23, 2012

Classic tale gets multicultural

After first appearing at the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) 13 years ago, Swiss-Colombian director/actor Omar Porras is on his way back there this weekend with a time-honored classic in tow. Porras’ Geneva-based Teatro Melandro company will stage William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” along ...

Nov 16, 2012

Theater wants to involve locals

The Tokyo-based Ryuzanji Company has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary drama since it was founded by director/actor Show Ryuzanji (whose real name is Shoji Fujioka) in 1984. Now, it is coproducing a huge musical with Toshima Ward centered on the northern Tokyo hub ...

Festival/Tokyo theater event to give Asia a starring role

Oct 26, 2012

Festival/Tokyo theater event to give Asia a starring role

Japan has been on a bit of a losing streak for a while now. In 2010, it was overtaken as the world’s second-largest economy by China, and in 2011 the nation was rocked by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing tsunami and ...

Dramatists explore the essence of language in new play

Oct 21, 2012

Dramatists explore the essence of language in new play

In a small studio just a seagull’s squawk from Tokyo Bay in the Higashi Gotanda district of Shinagawa Ward, a unique play titled “Understandable?” briefly delighted packed houses of baffled Japanese and others recently with its absurd-but-not, “abandoned- in-translation” dialogue devoid of subtitles. Showcasing ...