Emoto's 'Shrew' questions to provoke

by Nobuko Tanaka

“If I were a man doing the same work, no one would make any special mention of my gender, but I find I’m always being referred to by the media as ‘the female director, Junko Emoto.’ I don’t want to say that’s right or wrong, but it reminds me that ...

Inside the kingdom of Kodo

Nov 12, 2014

Inside the kingdom of Kodo

by Nobuko Tanaka

As world leaders in the performing art of Japanese drumming, Kodo state on their website that their mission is: “To explore the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko (aka wadaiko), and to forge new directions for this vibrant living art form.” ...

Hope 'glitters like a firefly' in sisterly drama

Nov 12, 2014

Hope 'glitters like a firefly' in sisterly drama

by Kris Kosaka

Yu Shibuya, a rising writer/director for both the big screen and theater, believes in the redemptive power of narrative: “We don’t really have to be reminded that humans are weak, or that we have the ability to commit violence,” he told The Japan Times ...

Debutante ups the drama to refresh 'Sleeping Beauty'

Nov 5, 2014

Debutante ups the drama to refresh 'Sleeping Beauty'

by Kris Kosaka

As Noriko Ohara, the newly appointed artistic director of the National Ballet of Japan put it during a recent interview with The Japan Times: ” ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ should be a spectacle — it should be gorgeous and dramatic.” Our conversation, animated with Ohara’s ...

Spain's ballet powers in

Nov 5, 2014

Spain's ballet powers in

by Ayako Takahashi

After many years at the Paris Opera Ballet, Jose Carlos Martinez left that fabled company in 2011 when he reached its age limit of 42 for an etoile (principal dancer) — and took up the post of artistic director at the Spanish National Dance ...

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

Oct 29, 2014

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

by Nobuko Tanaka

News in March that 38-year-old Chiaki Soma had suddenly been removed from the post of program director of Festival/Tokyo, which she had held since it started in 2009, set many theater lovers worrying about the future of the flagship drama event whose stature at ...

Siro-A's show blurs realities

Oct 22, 2014

Siro-A's show blurs realities

by Tom Smith

I can still remember the first time I saw Siro-A. The six-strong team of acrobatic techno-wizards marched out on stage at London’s quaint Leicester Square Theatre in an assault of thumping beats, dazzling lights and laser beams. Kitted out in white PVC jumpsuits and ...

'Forget Me Not' leaves an abiding impression

Oct 22, 2014

'Forget Me Not' leaves an abiding impression

by Lindsay Nelson

Compagnie Philippe Genty’s “Forget Me Not” (“Ne m’oublie pas”) takes human beings and transforms them into puppets. And it takes puppets and makes them seem human. Occasionally, it combines puppets and humans until it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. ...

Classic early mystery lays bare elusive Lepage style

Oct 15, 2014

Classic early mystery lays bare elusive Lepage style

by Mana Katsura

As an actor and world-class theater, film and opera director, Robert Lepage has become renowned for his unconventional productions using high-tech devices. Now, though, Tokyo audiences can feast their eyes and minds on this 56-year-old French-Canadian’s early masterpiece, 1987′s “Le Polygraphe (Polygraph),” a play ...