Nobuko Tanaka

Nobuko Tanaka is a stage writer who has regularly contributed contemporary theater and dance articles to The Japan Times since 2001. She also writes for several Japanese and overseas magazines and web sites. As a promoter, she takes Japanese artists to foreign theater festivals.

For Nobuko Tanaka's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

'Ballyturk' delivers a surreal yet exciting challenge

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'

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

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

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

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 ...

Dramatist Oriza Hirata has a vision for theater

Jan 11, 2018

Dramatist Oriza Hirata has a vision for theater

Travel around around 150 km northwest from the hustle and bustle of Kyoto and another, far more peaceful world awaits in the compact onsen (hot-spring) town of Kinosaki nestled on the Sea of Japan coast in a quiet corner of the largely rural city ...

Japan's theater world increasingly shed its insularities in 2017

Dec 19, 2017

Japan's theater world increasingly shed its insularities in 2017

Never mind those North Korean missiles that provide politicians with heaven-sent pretexts to posture. These days, everyone's talking about a boozy party held by Mongolian sumo wrestlers that turned violent reportedly because of a generational dispute over the arcane traditions of Japan's highly regimented ...