Let the theater help you become as free as a bird

Mar 15, 2012

Let the theater help you become as free as a bird

One day, William Tuckett’s big sister decided that she wanted to take ballet classes. Soon after, Tuckett’s mother realized that if both her children went to the class, she could have two hours free to herself. He may have had no choice attending classes ...

'TeZukA' animates the stage

Feb 17, 2012

'TeZukA' animates the stage

Choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is nutty about anime and manga. Speaking to him at a cafe in his native Antwerp, Cherkaoui drops all the right names into his conversation and gets as giddy as an otaku (obsessive) discussing Japanese pop culture. However, this 35-year-old ...

Drawing up a performance without talk

Jan 20, 2012

Drawing up a performance without talk

Language can sometimes be an obstacle for non-Japanese wanting to enjoy arts performances in Japan. In South Korea, however, artists are getting around this problem with theater programs that don’t use verbal elements. One of these is the recent success, “Nanta,” which is a ...

Condors fly in the face of contemporary dance scene

Jan 20, 2012

Condors fly in the face of contemporary dance scene

The Japanese are often described as being inward-looking and stoic, with a sense of humor that often fails to connect with people from overseas. However, there are still rare birds among that bunch. Condors are an all-male, 12-member dance troupe that was formed and ...

Japan's dramatists take on the 'nuclear village'

Dec 22, 2011

Japan's dramatists take on the 'nuclear village'

The place to start when reviewing this year’s highlights in contemporary Japanese theater, has to be The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11. That day led to a nation in mourning, an ongoing nuclear crisis and an awakening among dramatists, who saw the ...

Cinderella tale gets K-popped

Dec 16, 2011

Cinderella tale gets K-popped

The curtain had hardly gone down at the world premiere of “Kun (Goong) — Love in a Palace” in Seoul in 2010 when the musical suddenly became the hottest ticket in South Korea’s entertainment scene. The Cinderella-style story has a love-triangle twist, involving a ...

Seigo Hatasawa is no ordinary school teacher

Nov 24, 2011

Seigo Hatasawa is no ordinary school teacher

Japan’s performing arts world is massively centered on Tokyo, yet one of its leading lights is based in Aomori City in the country’s deeply unchic far north — and he’s a school teacher. Each morning during term time, Seigo Hatasawa, a 47-year-old playwright, director ...

Nov 11, 2011

Reworked play goes bilingual

Following critical acclaim for their first international collaboration program, “Wannabe,” Tokyo’s Kakikuukyaku Theater Company will present its second collaborative effort, “Kensatsukan (“The Government Inspector”) at Komaba Agora Theater from this weekend. For “Wannabe,” playwright and director Norihito Nakayashiki (also Kakikuuyaku’s founder) set the piece ...

Gamarjobat: Pantomime artists who have plenty to say

Oct 6, 2011

Gamarjobat: Pantomime artists who have plenty to say

Tough-looking with their cockscomb mohawks — the red one topping Ketch!; the yellow one, HIRO-PON — the “silent-comedy” duo Gamarjobat (“Hello” in Georgian) are now well into a 31-stop tour that’s filling theaters around the country with whoops and rollicking laughter — as well ...