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 cutting-edge works staged over a short period in the same area.

Though it moved 30-odd km down the road in 2011 and changed its name to Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama, the event, which this year runs Feb. 7-15, is still quaintly but generally known as TPAM (pronounced “T-PAM”).

By whatever name, however, it is a vital focus for domestic and international networking and deal-making between artists, creators and producers — and a renowned showcase for hot young theater and dance artists’ programs staged virtually nonstop at its three main venues.

For the first time this year, TPAM is focusing in particular on Asia, featuring collaborations between Japanese companies and ones from such countries as Thailand, China, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as others between some of those countries themselves. In addition, it is launching a project to introduce talented artists from across the region and promote them in the Japanese and other performing-arts markets worldwide.

So all in all, this city whose port opened feudal Japan to the world in 1859 is now set to open a major window on Asian performing arts to the world — and to offer audiences a wide variety of short and punchy works to savor on daylong theater cruises.

Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama runs Feb. 7-15. For details, call 03-5724-4660 or visit www.tpam.or.jp.

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