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Natsume Date
For Natsume Date's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Feb 22, 2017
Ballet icon Nina Ananiashvili looks set to bow out in splendid style
"Up to now, I've had about 120 partners in total," Nina Ananiashvili declared with a laugh. "Of course, I mean on the stage."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
May 26, 2015
Will 'King' Watanabe be the first Japanese actor to win a Tony?
When this year's nominees for the top honors in U.S. theater, the annual Tony Awards, were announced on April 28, the new musicals "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home" led the field after each being listed in 12 categories.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Apr 16, 2015
Flamenco dancer Maria Pages claims Carmen's story for women everywhere
In Seville, the spiritual home of flamenco in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, the cigarette factory where the gypsy girl Carmen worked in Prosper Merimee's eponymous 1845 novella is still standing.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Feb 18, 2015
Theater tale of two cities highlights Tokyo's loss
Built to commemorate the International Year of the Child in 1979, and opened in 1985, the marvelous National Children's Castle (Kodomo no Shiro) arts and sports facility in Tokyo's central Shibuya district was closed this month — along with the 1,200-seat Aoyama Theatre and the 376-seat Aoyama...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Feb 18, 2015
Language no barrier to 'The River'
Playwright and director Go Aoki is one of today's many leading dramatists who emerged through the shōgekijō (small-scale youth theater) movement of the 1980s-2000s
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jan 14, 2015
Rising stars of kabuki run new-year Asakusa gauntlet
One of the major sightseeing spots in Tokyo, and indeed in Japan, is the city's oldest temple, Sensoji, which was founded in 645 in the Asakusa district of present-day Taito Ward. Though perpetually thronged with people, its beautiful precincts attract staggering numbers at New Year's, when this is invariably...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jan 7, 2015
Star Belgian choreographer celebrates manga and more
"Tokyo, my brother, my protector" was the tweet posted by Belgian-born Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui — often dubbed "the busiest choreographer in the world" — straight after he arrived here two months ago.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jan 1, 2015
Curtains up on 2015
Innovation adds sparkle to traditional forms
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Dec 17, 2014
'Entrance/Exit' shows the way for new arts fest
Bulging like a half moon out into the Seto Inland Sea from Kyushu's northeast corner, the Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita Prefecture may be remote and lack rail links to the rest of the country, but since time immemorial it has been a crossroads for travelers in both directions between Japan, the Korean Peninsula...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Nov 26, 2014
Sarajevo's fine MESS shines light from yet more darkness
This year is the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and among commemorations worldwide, in Sarajevo, in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, there have been numerous events marking the June 28, 1914 assassination there of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie —...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Oct 8, 2014
Who cares what Faust looks like
German contemporary theater has only begun to be introduced in Japan this century, before when the term "Western theater" was generally associated with works by British or American directors that told a story and diligently portrayed the psychological state of the characters.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Sep 17, 2014
Korea's new 'Goddess' of musicals
The central Seoul district of Daehangno is renowned for its small theaters in much the same way as Shimokitazawa is in Tokyo. But whereas the latter boasts teens of venues, Daehangno has upward of 140 — so really there's no comparison.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Sep 3, 2014
A dream comes true for ballet's star
"I told Matthew (Bourne), 'You probably don't know how much I've waited for this day. I've wanted to do this work so much that I've almost been chasing you around' — and now my dream's suddenly come true, I feel like I'm floating on the clouds."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Aug 13, 2014
SPAC's teen 'Dream' comes true
Mount Fuji towers nearby, and the hills around are covered with beautiful tea fields, while occupying a huge, 21-hectare plot of greenery dotted with theaters and rehearsal spaces is the home base of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Aug 6, 2014
Europe's rich tapestry unites two contrasting theater fests
As I often go to theater festivals in Europe, I was delighted to hear about the Schweizer Theatertreffen (Swiss Theater Encounter), a brand-new event being held in May. And since I'd already planned a trip that month to the Berlin Theater Festival, it was a no-brainer to check out this new Swiss kid...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jun 25, 2014
'Scary stories' series reaches limit
In "Hyakumonogatari," a 1911 novella by the great author and translator Ogai Mori, the protagonist explains that its title refers to a traditional way of telling ghost stories, saying: "In hyakumonogatari (meaning '100 tales'), people gather together and arrange 100 candles. Each person tells a ghost...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jun 18, 2014
Cocoon Kabuki enters a new era
Theatre Cocoon in the Bunkamura performance-arts hub of Tokyo's vibrant Shibuya district has always been a popular venue specializing in new works by fresh contemporary writers. Emblematic of this is Cocoon Kabuki, its unique series begun in 1994 under the then Artistic Director Kazuyoshi Kushida.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
May 21, 2014
Yang Liping speaks out
"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.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
May 14, 2014
Tokyo fans thrill to 'Michaelism'
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 following year's failures "Tonight's...
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
May 7, 2014
Surrender yourself to 'Fuerza Bruta' fun
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.

Longform

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