'Titanic' set to sail into Japanese hearts

Mar 11, 2015

'Titanic' set to sail into Japanese hearts

by Nobuko Tanaka

English director Thom Southerland’s reworking of the megahit Broadway musical “Titanic” was an instant sensation when it opened in August 2013 at the popular midsize Southwark Playhouse in a trendy part of South London by the River Thames. With its whole run a sellout, ...

Going where Terayama's rare spirit lives on

Mar 11, 2015

Going where Terayama's rare spirit lives on

by Mana Katsura

The avant-garde stage and film director, poet, critic, author and founder of the experimental theater group Tenjo Sajiki, Shuji Terayama (1935-83), influenced theater the world over with his iconoclastic plays such as “Mink Marie,” “Heretics” and “Directions to Servants.” From the early 1970s, his ...

Tokyo Ballet revisits 'Giselle' anew

Mar 11, 2015

Tokyo Ballet revisits 'Giselle' anew

by Kris Kosaka

Ballet legend Vladimir Malakhov’s first connection with Japan was more than 20 years ago, when he danced in the World Ballet Festival in Osaka opposite Alessandra Ferri in a piece from Marius Petipa’s 1850 revival of “Giselle.” Now, as the Tokyo Ballet’s artistic adviser ...

John Caird delivers home truths with 'Twelfth Night'

Mar 4, 2015

John Caird delivers home truths with 'Twelfth Night'

by Nobuko Tanaka

As an Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, John Caird may be one of the leading pillars of the English theater establishment, but in a recent interview with The Japan Times, this acclaimed director of plays, musicals and opera declared, “In a ...

Kabuki icon takes Dazzle dancers to new levels

Mar 4, 2015

Kabuki icon takes Dazzle dancers to new levels

by Mana Katsura

Street dance has been growing in popularity for years among younger generations in “Cool Japan,” with displays often attracting crowds of passers-by. Though many artists perform alone in public, others have pooled their talents to help broaden their appeal. Among those, one standout is ...

A 'Swan Lake' of diversity

Feb 25, 2015

A 'Swan Lake' of diversity

by Kris Kosaka

“Ballet must be accessible,” the French choreographer and artistic director of The Ballet of Monte Carlo, Jean-Christophe Maillot, believes — and the upcoming Japan premiere of “LAC,” his most ambitious reconfiguration of a classic to date, promises to attract both fans of Tchaikovsky’s famed ...

French artiste par excellence hails noh highs

Feb 25, 2015

French artiste par excellence hails noh highs

by Kaori Shoji

French comedian extraordinaire Guillaume Gallienne has a sizeable Japanese fan base, which gratifies him most heartily. “I feel like the Japanese get me and vice versa — and at one time, I thought I’d even make my home here,” the 42-year-old performer/filmmaker said in ...

'Mercury Fur' exposes a caring kind of depravity

Feb 18, 2015

'Mercury Fur' exposes a caring kind of depravity

by Nobuko Tanaka

After the premiere of “Mercury Fur” at Theatre Tram in Tokyo’s lively Sangenjaya district this month, Issey Takahashi, who stars in that dystopian 2005 play by Philip Ridley, declared: “I think this is a very dark prophecy, but as I was acting my character ...

Theater tale of two cities highlights Tokyo's loss

Feb 18, 2015

Theater tale of two cities highlights Tokyo's loss

by Natsume Date

Built to commemorate the International Year of the Child in 1979, and opened in 1985, the marvelous National Children’s Castle (Kodomo no Shiro) arts and sports facility in Tokyo’s central Shibuya district was closed this month — along with the 1,200-seat Aoyama Theatre and ...