Trocks set to blend ballet and fun

by Kris Kosaka

It’s Trocks time again, as that madcap melange of comedy and classical ballet trucks into Tokyo this weekend at the start of a monthlong nationwide tour — the troupe’s 28th to Japan over more than 30 years. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, to give the New York-based company its ...

Young British directors take Tokyo by storm — but why?

Jun 23, 2015

Young British directors take Tokyo by storm — but why?

by Nobuko Tanaka

This year it’s quite noticeable how many non-Japanese are directing plays in Tokyo — not frequent and famed visitors such as David Leveaux, Robert Lepage and Simon McBurney, but relative unknowns here making their debuts at two leading large commercial theaters that almost always ...

Shoko reclaims her spot on the stage

May 28, 2015

Shoko reclaims her spot on the stage

by Ako Washio

Shoko Nakamura embarked on a challenging journey when she began retraining for ballet performances just one month after giving birth to her son, Joel, in 2011. The dancer, who goes by just her first name when performing, says the physical pain involved in getting ...

Queens' tale speaks to now

May 26, 2015

Queens' tale speaks to now

by Ayako Takahashi

Though it’s 40 years since Italian playwright Dacia Maraini wrote “Mary Stuart,” this story of two queens — Elizabeth I of England and Ireland and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots — remains as relevant now as ever in its portrayal of two women burning ...

'Newcomer,' 56, wins Kishida

May 26, 2015

'Newcomer,' 56, wins Kishida

by Nobuko Tanaka

Named after a prominent early 20th-century playwright, author and translator, and presented annually by the Hakusuisha publishing house since 1955, the Kishida Kunio Drama Award is indisputably Japan’s top honor for writers of plays premiered the year before. As the same person can only ...

Dramatist brings citizens of all ages together

May 2, 2015

Dramatist brings citizens of all ages together

by Nobuko Tanaka

Public theaters across the country are holding significantly more community productions and workshops aimed at local residents who are looking to get involved in performance art. Undoubtedly that’s in part thanks to the pioneering work of the nation’s leading dramatist on the world stage, ...

Bintley returns with his new-look 'Cinderella'

Apr 28, 2015

Bintley returns with his new-look 'Cinderella'

by Kris Kosaka

For dance fans, there’s the promise of some glittering Golden Week holiday reunions as David Bintley, long-time director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, returns here with that company for the first time since his four-year stint doubling up as artistic director of the National ...

TACT serves up some fantastical holiday fare

Apr 28, 2015

TACT serves up some fantastical holiday fare

by Nobuko Tanaka

If you’re so busy wondering how to spend the upcoming Golden Week holiday that you can hardly sleep, why not simply go and enjoy the TACT/Festival at TMET (Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre) in Ikebukuro — where you can count sheep, too, if you want. Following ...

Orpheus descends on Japan

Apr 28, 2015

Orpheus descends on Japan

by Mika Eglinton

Of all U.S. playwright Tennessee Williams’s many major works — including “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “The Glass Menagerie” — “Orpheus Descending,” which opens in Tokyo next week with a star-studded Japanese cast and multi-award-winning English director Phillip Breen at the helm, is among ...

Shizuoka blooms with culture at theater event

Apr 16, 2015

Shizuoka blooms with culture at theater event

by Nobuko Tanaka

With sunlight dappling fresh green leaves, flowers in bloom and birds singing, spring and early summer is when Europeans leave their homes to enjoy the arts at great annual events such as Germany’s Theatertreffen and France’s Avignon Festival. In contrast, though spring in Japan ...