Shirai triumphs with 'The Tempest'

May 21, 2014

Shirai triumphs with 'The Tempest'

by Nobuko Tanaka

“I’d like ‘The Tempest’ I am creating to be on the smallest scale ever, but as it’s a very spacious stage at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, it won’t have the most compact set. Nonetheless, I will try to present it as stories from ...

Yang Liping speaks out

May 21, 2014

Yang Liping speaks out

by Natsume Date

“My dance is not something I learned from someone; my mentor is nature and I learn from watching nature,” is how the Chinese star Yang Liping explained the roots of her art in a recent interview for The Japan Times. Now aged 55, Yang ...

'The Bee' stings Paris audience

May 21, 2014

'The Bee' stings Paris audience

by Bronwyn Mahoney

With its title “The Bee,” this work co-written in 2006 by leading dramatist Hideki Noda and Irish playwright Colin Teevan immediately brought to mind Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and the ghastly, unbidden and unexplained changes to which the protgonist of that seminal novella is subjected. ...

'Oscar' special marks 100 years of Takarazuka

May 14, 2014

'Oscar' special marks 100 years of Takarazuka

by Mika Eglinton

As one in a series of special productions to mark its centennial, Takarazuka — Japan’s longest-standing theater company with all-female casts — is reviving “The Rose of Versailles — Oscar,” its 1972 hit adaptation of an acclaimed manga series by Riyoko Ikeda that, in ...

Tokyo fans thrill to 'Michaelism'

May 14, 2014

Tokyo fans thrill to 'Michaelism'

by Natsume Date

In England in 1999, after the huge success of the ABBA-songs show “Mamma Mia,” the theater scene became awash with “jukebox musicals.” From 2002′s reasonably successful Queen-based “We Will Rock You” and “Taboo,” which drew on the music of Boy George/Culture Club, to the ...

Surrender yourself to 'Fuerza Bruta' fun

May 7, 2014

Surrender yourself to 'Fuerza Bruta' fun

by Natsume Date

Standing around with a drink in your hand as if you were on the dance floor of a club might not be a good idea at a Diqui James production. In “Fuerza Bruta,” which premiered in 2005 and continues its evolution in Tokyo this ...

Bunraku legend gets set for his grand finale

May 7, 2014

Bunraku legend gets set for his grand finale

by Rei Sasaguchi

On the occasion of his retirement after three decades as a bunraku narrator, the designated living national treasure Takemoto Sumitayu VII will present part of a program of traditional puppetry (ningyō jōruri) being staged by the National Theatre in Tokyo from May 10-26. Born ...

Rough transition raises issues over F/T's future

Apr 30, 2014

Rough transition raises issues over F/T's future

by Mika Eglinton

On Dec. 18, 2013, the Festival/Tokyo website announced that following the implementation of “a new administration system,” Program Director Chiaki Soma, 38, would resign from her position and be replaced at the end of March 2014 by Sachio Ichimura, 64, the then chairman of ...