Defending a dying art, opera troupe tours rural China

May 2, 2017

Defending a dying art, opera troupe tours rural China

For the 50-year-old Chinese opera performer, every aspect of the dimly lit backstage room was a reminder that things had changed. The elaborate costumes carelessly thrown aside, the young troupe members playing with their smartphones, the half-eaten noodles abandoned in the corner — all were ...

The ambiguous world of today's ventriloquists

Apr 27, 2017

The ambiguous world of today's ventriloquists

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Franco-Austrian choreographer and director Gisele Vienne is fascinated by puppets and brings a group of nine ventriloquists and their marionettes to the stage in her latest piece, "The Ventriloquists Convention." The play is part of the World Theatre Festival Shizuoka run by Shizuoka Performing ...

All Shizuoka's a stage for SPAC's theater festival

Apr 27, 2017

All Shizuoka's a stage for SPAC's theater festival

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At a recent news conference, Satoshi Miyagi, the artistic director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC), gave notice of an imminent invasion — by girigirijin. He explained that these "trailblazers" were set to descend on the annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka, armed with ideas and ...

To be or not to be ... so it seems

Mar 21, 2017

To be or not to be ... so it seems

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John Caird is widely known as the co-director with fellow Englishman Trevor Nunn of "Les Miserables," which opened in the West End 1985 and is still playing there in the longest-ever London run for a musical. However, Caird's illustrious career as a writer and director ...

Bausch's legacy blossoms as emotions unfold on stage

Feb 22, 2017

Bausch's legacy blossoms as emotions unfold on stage

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When the curtain opens on a stage blanketed in silk flowers, a beginner might think "Nelken" ("Carnations") by Pina Bausch was about to offer some sweetly whimsical vision of poetry in three dimensions. That, however, would be to ignore dark underlying themes of power ...

Eddie Izzard proves an irresistible force on tour

Feb 19, 2017

Eddie Izzard proves an irresistible force on tour

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To many fans of comedy, the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Eddie Izzard is his cross-dressing. However, if you dig deeper you will find one of Britain's most intelligent comedians. Born to British parents in the colony of Aden (now Yemen) ...