'Ballyturk' delivers a surreal yet exciting challenge

Stage Apr 11, 2018

'Ballyturk' delivers a surreal yet exciting challenge

When Akira Shirai first read the script for "Ballyturk," he quickly understood why its creator, Irish playwright Enda Walsh, said the work "should bypass the intellect and go straight into your bones." The 60-year-old artistic director at Kanagawa Arts Theatre in Yokohama was mulling over ...

Force and fragility meet and merge in 'Dunas'

Stage Mar 20, 2018

Force and fragility meet and merge in 'Dunas'

There are mutual squeals of delight when Belgian dance artist Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Spanish flamenco dancer Maria Pages are reunited after "far too long" at a Tokyo rehearsal studio. Pages, 54, has flown in from Madrid to promote the pair's 2009 work "Dunas" ("Dunes"), ...

Dairakudakan's 'unearthly' butoh meets a tortured Russian tale

Stage Mar 15, 2018

Dairakudakan's 'unearthly' butoh meets a tortured Russian tale

Following a January press conference in which the New National Theatre, Tokyo, announced that Dairakudakan, one of the world's leading butoh companies, would be staging two performances of "Tsumi to Batsu" ("Crime and Punishment") in March, troupe founder Akaji Maro delivered a triumphant statement. "Having ...

Chiaki Soma puts on a not-so-common theater festival

Stage Feb 22, 2018

Chiaki Soma puts on a not-so-common theater festival

In the world of Japanese contemporary drama, the action often takes place offstage as well as on. A case in point is what happened to Chiaki Soma, the program director at Festival/Tokyo from 2009-13, who is the main force behind the Theater Commons Tokyo festival, ...

TPAM's magic happens in front of and behind the curtain

Stage Feb 8, 2018

TPAM's magic happens in front of and behind the curtain

Back in 1995, some of the movers and shakers of the domestic theater scene got together at various venues around the capital for an event called the Tokyo Performing Arts Market. The aim was simple: connect up-and-coming Japanese artists to the producers and theater ...