The waiting's over for stars of 'Billy Elliot'

Dec 27, 2016

The waiting's over for stars of 'Billy Elliot'

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Eleven years after he saw "Billy Elliot" in London's West End and was inspired to stage the musical in Japan with a Japanese cast, Yoshitaka Hori, president of leading production company Horipro Corp., could finally stand smiling at a Tokyo press conference called on ...

A golden age of theater for Japan's seniors

Nov 24, 2016

A golden age of theater for Japan's seniors

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At the age of 91, Saitama resident Izumi Noguchi is speaking at his first press conference — at least as an actor anyway. "When I saw an advert in April inviting anyone aged 60 or older to audition for a new project called 10,000 Gold ...

Ong's spellbinding take on 'Richard III'

Nov 22, 2016

Ong's spellbinding take on 'Richard III'

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He is one of Asia's foremost theater directors, and Ong Keng Sen looked to be enjoying his latest challenge when we met in Tokyo in March during rehearsals for "Sandaime Richard," Japanese dramatist Hideki Noda's iconoclastic adaptation of Shakespeare's "Richard III." The Singaporean dramatist was ...

NBA Ballet promises a fine and varied show

Nov 22, 2016

NBA Ballet promises a fine and varied show

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The NBA Ballet is set to stage an eclectic bill at Saitama Arts Theater next month, comprising the world premieres of two modern works and 1958's contemporary-style classic, "Stars and Stripes," by the so-called "father of American ballet," Russian-born George Balanchine. Not only do the ...

'Contact' enters realms of enigma

Oct 25, 2016

'Contact' enters realms of enigma

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The great 18th-century French writer and philosopher Voltaire famously said, "Illusion is the first of all pleasures." His 55-year-old compatriot Philippe Decoufle would probably agree. The celebrated dancer, choreographer, mime artist and theater director burst onto the international stage with his daringly surreal, circus-inspired choreography ...

Festival/Tokyo speaks with a defiant voice

Oct 6, 2016

Festival/Tokyo speaks with a defiant voice

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Press conferences are usually upbeat affairs, but at the one held to herald Festival/Tokyo — a two-month theater festival that kicks off Oct. 15 — Artistic Director Sachio Ichimura appears looking worried and begins proceedings by bemoaning the event's financial situation and wondering aloud ...