'Soma' project dances over divides

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If you took a handful of aspiring Japanese contemporary dancers and blended them with a few members of Tanztheater Wuppertal — the world-famous German troupe formed in 1973 by the modern dance icon Pina Bausch (1940-2009) — what kinds of artistic chemistry would you get? To find out, French choreographer ...

The Royal Opera returns with a double bill to thrill

Aug 25, 2015

The Royal Opera returns with a double bill to thrill

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Lovers of classical music can diffuse summer’s heat with some ghostly relief, as The Royal Opera makes its first visit to Japan since 2010 — this time with the spectral pairing of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Macbeth” and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” The two productions ...

New 'Troilus and Cressida' looks like it's making history

Jul 21, 2015

New 'Troilus and Cressida' looks like it's making history

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Renowned as a problem play due to its tangled ambiguities and a storyline that cries out for a catharsis, “Troilus and Cressida” is among the most rarely staged of William Shakespeare’s 37 plays. In Japan, other than Yukio Ninagawa’s all-male 2012 production, whose spectacular ...

Performing arts poised to bloom at ETAT 2015

Jul 21, 2015

Performing arts poised to bloom at ETAT 2015

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The sixth Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale is set to start July 26 in Tokamachi City and Tsunan Town in Niigata Prefecture, north-central Honshu. Though this mountainous region is known for picturesque wintry snowscapes and lush green summer rice fields, it is beset with the socio-economic ...

New head of Takarazuka troupe looks to the future

Jul 7, 2015

New head of Takarazuka troupe looks to the future

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The new head of the Takarazuka Revue Company says he aims to lay the foundations for the musical theater troupe to continue to flourish long into the future, after the all-female company celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. President Tomotsugu Ogawa, the 58-year-old former ...

Trocks set to blend ballet and fun

Jun 23, 2015

Trocks set to blend ballet and fun

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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 ...

Young British directors take Tokyo by storm — but why?

Jun 23, 2015

Young British directors take Tokyo by storm — but why?

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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

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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

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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 ...