“It may be wrong to mix different wines, but old and new wisdom make an excellent mixture." So claims The Singer in Bertolt Brecht's 1944 play, "The Caucasian Chalk Circle."

If so, there are few places where tradition and the avant-garde collide with more potent creative force than Kyoto. Home to a fifth of Japan's designated Important Cultural Properties, the city is also at the forefront of radical performing-arts culture thanks to its annual Kyoto Experiment festival.

Now in its sixth year, this increasingly successful international event is entering a new phase marked by three key changes — most obviously the inclusion this year of a March 5-27 spring program along with the usual autumn one.