Troupe turns words into action

by Rob Schwartz

Fujiyama Annette, a contemporary dance troupe started by 30-year-old Nay Hasegawa and Kazumi Yamashita in 2003 (though Yamashita is no longer involved), is known for its inventive takes on performance, use of technology and focus on different perspectives.

In line with its concept of taking Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater (or dance theater) to the next level, the troupe’s new work, “Swan,” uses movement in the place of dialogue.

On one level, “Swan” is a reinterpretation of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.” Director Hasegawa first wrote a Japanese script with dialogue and then replaced each line with a movement that signifies or approximates the meaning. The story also addresses the scandal over Chinese frozen dumplings that made many Japanese ill in 2008, attempting to draw parallels with the classic story of “Swan Lake” through the theme of the powerful authority and the individual.

As an added touch, there will be strategically placed cameras broadcasting the performance on TV screens in the hall to show micro and macro perspectives.

“Swan” runs Oct. 21-24 at Setagaya Public Theatre/Theatre Tram in Sangenjaya, Tokyo (7:30 p.m. on Oct. 21-23, 5 p.m. on Oct. 24, weekend matinees at 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 and 1 p.m. on Oct. 24; ¥3,000 in advance, ¥3,200 at the door). For more information, call (03) 5432-1526 or visit www.setagaya-pt.jp/en.