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 ...

Francois Girard and a woman of many letters

Sep 15, 2011

Francois Girard and a woman of many letters

“This wonderful project started when my friend, the Lebanese writer Wajdi Mouawad, gave me a book and said I should make a movie out it,” Francois Girard explains. “But after I read it I got back to him and said, ‘Sorry, I disagree with ...

Festival/Tokyo rewrites its script after quake

Sep 9, 2011

Festival/Tokyo rewrites its script after quake

Chiaki Soma, the program director at Festival/Tokyo (F/T), needed to figure out how to proceed with the country’s biggest theater festival following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11. She closed her office for 10 days and asked the staff to carefully consider ...