Zainichi dramas delve into Japan's shadows

Stage Feb 23, 2016

Zainichi dramas delve into Japan's shadows

by Nobuko Tanaka

“At last, the masterpiece 'Yakiniku Dragon' ('Korean Barbecue Dragon') is going to be staged again!" The "!" that leaps up at the end of this sentence in a recent press release from the New National Theatre Tokyo surely reflects a widespread excitement on hearing that ...

Curtains up on 2015

Stage Jan 1, 2015

Curtains up on 2015

by Ayako Takahashi, Natsume Date, Mana Katsura and Kris Kosaka

Innovation adds sparkle to traditional forms Looking into the crystal ball of Japan's traditional performing arts in 2015 reveals a sparkling blend of change and tradition. In what is its 120th year, the film and theater company and pillar of kabuki, Shochiku, will mark the succession ...

David Bintley bows out with a 'Pagoda' set in Japan

Stage Jun 11, 2014

David Bintley bows out with a 'Pagoda' set in Japan

by Kris Kosaka

Challenge is intrinsic to artistic creation, but David Bintley relishes it so much that he specializes in conceiving the unlikely. "I like to do things that people think are impossible in dance," the English choreographer said in a recent interview with The Japan Times before ...

Shirai triumphs with 'The Tempest'

Stage May 21, 2014

Shirai triumphs with 'The Tempest'

by Nobuko Tanaka

"I'd like 'The Tempest' I am creating to be on the smallest scale ever, but as it's a very spacious stage at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, it won't have the most compact set. Nonetheless, I will try to present it as stories from ...

Wrestling with Verdi's 'foul truth'

Stage Nov 6, 2013

Wrestling with Verdi's 'foul truth'

by Natsume Date

Women wearing flashy East-meets-West dresses and men in dark suits frolic drunkenly in a hotel lounge. Behind them can be seen the ends of the hallways for each floor of guest rooms. Couples slip away from the group from time to time, disappear down ...

'Edward II': The director's take

Stage Oct 16, 2013

'Edward II': The director's take

by Nobuko Tanaka

Two years ago, Shintaro Mori made his directorial debut at the New National Theatre, Tokyo, with a minimalist production of Samuel Beckett's absurdist masterpiece "Waiting for Godot." Now, at age 37, he's back there at the helm of probably one of the West's first-ever ...