No-frills dramatist casts Japan in a different light

Feb 11, 2015

No-frills dramatist casts Japan in a different light

by Nobuko Tanaka

The title of Yudai Kamisato’s new work “+51 Aviacíon, San Borja” references his grandmother’s address in Lima and the international telephone dialling code of Peru — but that only hints at the unusually cosmopolitan background of this 32-year-old Japanese playwright and director who also ...

Double bill seeks out unknowns

Feb 11, 2015

Double bill seeks out unknowns

by Nobuko Tanaka

Like many others in Japan’s rising performing-artist generation, 34-year-old Ney Hasegawa says he first felt the lure of the stage when he went to see shōgekijō (small-scale youth theater) plays while he was in high school. After that, he started taking an interest in ...

Malakhov brings borscht to ballet

Feb 4, 2015

Malakhov brings borscht to ballet

by Ayako Takahashi

“In my free time when I’m not taking classes or conducting rehearsals, I like to go to theaters and museums — or just go shopping and visit different parts of the city,” Vladimir Malakhov, The Tokyo Ballet’s new artistic adviser explained during our recent ...

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

Feb 4, 2015

Ninagawa still exploring in eighth take on 'Hamlet'

by Nobuko Tanaka

Yukio Ninagawa’s “cherry-blossom” staging of “Macbeth” at the Edinburgh Festival in 1985, with actors in that famously Scottish play sporting kimono rather than kilts, was a sensation due to its radical reimagining of so revered a work. Since then, the 79-year-old director’s uniquely visual ...

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

Jan 28, 2015

Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk

by Ayako Takahashi

Known for its nightlife, its fleets of Ferraris and condos with sky-high prices, the affluent central Tokyo district of Roppongi will soon go where even that multinational neighborhood has never gone before — when the launch of a program named Roppongi Kabuki will see ...

Young gun Kinoshita takes aim at tradition

Jan 28, 2015

Young gun Kinoshita takes aim at tradition

by Mana Katsura

Though for more than 300 years it’s only been performed by men and boys, kabuki exists in the public imagination as actors engulfed in hair and makeup, wearing elaborate costumes and striking ostentatious poses on a vast stage. Despite this, works by the Kinoshita ...

Condors dancers share double bill with rising star

Jan 28, 2015

Condors dancers share double bill with rising star

by Kris Kosaka

Ryohei Kondo, who founded the popular male dance troupe Condors in 1996, is always brimfull of innovative ideas — even when they’re garbed in traditional clothing. When Maimi Sato, Saitama Arts Theatre’s head producer of dance, asked the choreographer to interpret a Japanese folk ...

Yokohama fest offers a performing-arts feast

Jan 28, 2015

Yokohama fest offers a performing-arts feast

by Nobuko Tanaka

Since Tokyo Performing Arts Market began in 1995, the annual event has established itself as one of Asia’s leading trade shows for creators, producers and festival organizers — as well as being a great chance for general audiences to catch a wide range of ...

Avignon chief sees culture and politics sharing the stage

Jan 21, 2015

Avignon chief sees culture and politics sharing the stage

by Nobuko Tanaka

“The Avignon Festival is not only about shows and theater, but also about thinking, searching and seeking to understand the world and its politics — and offering an opportunity for three weeks’ intellectual life experience every year,” Olivier Py, the event’s artistic director, declared ...

French triumph frees SPAC pioneer to be bolder still

Jan 21, 2015

French triumph frees SPAC pioneer to be bolder still

by Nobuko Tanaka

Following on Olivier Py’s comment in the accompanying story that “everybody” at last year’s Avignon Festival loved Satoshi Miyagi’s “Mahabharata — Nalacharitam,” which Py, as the festival’s director, had awarded the honor of opening the event, I rolled up to Shizuoka Performing Arts Center ...