The ambiguous world of today's ventriloquists

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Franco-Austrian choreographer and director Gisele Vienne is fascinated by puppets and brings a group of nine ventriloquists and their marionettes to the stage in her latest piece, “The Ventriloquists Convention.” The play is part of the World Theatre Festival Shizuoka run by Shizuoka Performing Arts Center from April 28 to ...

All Shizuoka's a stage for SPAC's theater festival

Apr 27, 2017

All Shizuoka's a stage for SPAC's theater festival

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At a recent news conference, Satoshi Miyagi, the artistic director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC), gave notice of an imminent invasion — by girigirijin. He explained that these “trailblazers” were set to descend on the annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka, armed with ideas ...

To be or not to be ... so it seems

Mar 21, 2017

To be or not to be ... so it seems

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John Caird is widely known as the co-director with fellow Englishman Trevor Nunn of “Les Miserables,” which opened in the West End 1985 and is still playing there in the longest-ever London run for a musical. However, Caird’s illustrious career as a writer and ...

Bausch's legacy blossoms as emotions unfold on stage

Feb 22, 2017

Bausch's legacy blossoms as emotions unfold on stage

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When the curtain opens on a stage blanketed in silk flowers, a beginner might think “Nelken” (“Carnations”) by Pina Bausch was about to offer some sweetly whimsical vision of poetry in three dimensions. That, however, would be to ignore dark underlying themes of power ...

Kimura's crazed 'Macbeth' for today

Jan 24, 2017

Kimura's crazed 'Macbeth' for today

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“When I was studying English literature at the University of Tokyo, even though I had no theater experience at all, I got the chance to direct ‘Macbeth,’ ” 33-year-old Ryunosuke Kimura explained when we met recently at a rehearsal studio in downtown Tokyo. “To ...

Celtic noh draws on two cultures' essence

Jan 24, 2017

Celtic noh draws on two cultures' essence

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Noh is a uniquely Japanese form of musical drama that dates back to at least the 14th century. However, it took 600 years before this performing art surfaced in Western culture — notably with Irish poet William Butler Yeats’ noh-inspired 1917 play “At the ...