The Fujiyama Annette dance/theater company was started by 28-year-old Nay Hasegawa and 27-year-old Kazumi Yamashita in 2003, though only Hasegawa continues to choreograph the company’s shows. Named after an imaginary French-Japanese iconic model, the company puts on unique dance performances that mix video projection, dance, music and art design. Though labeled a dance company, Annette considers itself a theater group that uses body movement to replace words. Each project begins with scripted dialogue, which is replaced with movement as the performance develops.
The present piece, “Fubin!” is set in a hospital, and the main theme of the show, whose title means to feel sorry for someone, explores how people’s injuries force them to innovate and struggle with their bodies to accomplish things they could do easily before getting hurt. Hasegawa views this as a kind of evolution from a way of moving that is unconsidered to one that is much more thought out.
A number of guest performers in the show are working with Fujiyama Annette for the first time. They include: Junta Kusamitsu (who has appeared in many films and theater productions), Junko Fukai (from the group Fukai Produce Hagoromo), Reo Tamaoki (of the Kaki Ku Kyaku company), Reiko Onishi (a Bungaku-za graduate) and Kae Ishimoto (from Wangnin Bunmei).
Judge for yourself whether this project, which takes theater into the realm of body movement, incorporating video and sound to tell the story, is a success or not.
“Fubin!” is staged Dec. 26-29 at The Suzunari theater, a 7-minute walk from Shimokitazawa Station. All shows are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., except on Dec. 26 (8 p.m.) and Dec 29 (2 p.m. and 6 p.m.). Tickets: ¥3,000. Call the box office on (03) 3469-0511, visit www.honda-geki.com/ suzunari/top.html, or contact the Fujiyama Annette Co. directly on 080 5496-7555.