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SAITAMA

Double dose of dancing hits Saitama

by Nobuko Tanaka

A double bill of cutting-edge dance awaits fans at the Saitama Arts Theater this weekend.

Under the title dancetoday 2010, the first part of this two-course feast of leading Japanese contemporary dance features is “Island of No Memories,” choreographed by international dance muse, Kaori Ito.

Since shooting to fame after cutting a brilliant figure in renowned French artist Philippe Decoufle’s company between 2003 and 2005, Ito has gone on to work with such top-class choreographers as Belgium’s Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Alain Platel. Meanwhile, she has also been busy creating her own programs, including “Island of No Memories,” which won first prize at the “(Re)connaissance” choreographic competition in France last year. For her home performance, Ito will be dancing with New York-based Kota Yamazaki and her regular partner, Czech Mirka Prokesova.

The second course of this Saitama splendor features a new program, titled “Inside” (followed by two Japanese quotation marks) by artist Kentaro!!

One of the most powerful young dancers and choreographers in Japan today, Kentaro!! is best known for his powerful, vigorous and imaginative hip-hop works. This time, however, audiences can expect him to apply his multitalented approach to a range of dance and theater scenes — with Masako Yasumoto as his partner.

dancetoday 2010 runs till Sept. 5 at Saitama Arts Theater in Saitma, Saitama Prefecture. For more details, call Saitama Arts Foundation at (0570) 064-939 or visit www.saf.or.jp