Tokyo Ballet's 'Don Quixote' revels in its Russian roots

Sep 17, 2014

Tokyo Ballet's 'Don Quixote' revels in its Russian roots

by Kris Kosaka

From its inception, the ballet “Don Quixote” has been a global collaboration. Based on an episode from the fancifully sprawling 17th-century Spanish novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes, it was originally choreographed by the Frenchman Marius Petipa, scored by Austrian ...

Korea's new 'Goddess' of musicals

Sep 17, 2014

Korea's new 'Goddess' of musicals

by Natsume Date

The central Seoul district of Daehangno is renowned for its small theaters in much the same way as Shimokitazawa is in Tokyo. But whereas the latter boasts teens of venues, Daehangno has upward of 140 — so really there’s no comparison. That remarkable concentration ...

Audiences set to star in Ago's language quest

Sep 17, 2014

Audiences set to star in Ago's language quest

by Mika Eglinton

Satoshi Ago has been in the news lately following his appointment as artistic director of the small but pioneering Kyoto theater, Atelier Gekken. Since long before that, however, the playwright, actor and director has been renowned for his thought-provoking “theater of mechanical reproduction.” Strongly ...

Nagatsuka probes into Pinter's 'Betrayal'

Sep 10, 2014

Nagatsuka probes into Pinter's 'Betrayal'

by Nobuko Tanaka

“During the 2010 Tokyo run of my play ‘Anti-clockwise Wonderland,’ I held a reading workshop of ‘Betrayal.’ That set me thinking I’d like to act one of the men in the love-triangle drama. So now at last I find myself doing that — and ...

DNA eyes its Tokyo dance legacy

Sep 10, 2014

DNA eyes its Tokyo dance legacy

by Ayako Takahashi

An exciting new dance festival named Dance New Air will debut in Tokyo from Sept. 12, featuring performances, symposia, workshops and film screenings at venues in the central Aoyama district. However, the back story to DNA is less exciting, as it has been slotted ...

Bourne's 'Swan Lake' puts a dance revolution on stage

Sep 3, 2014

Bourne's 'Swan Lake' puts a dance revolution on stage

by Kris Kosaka

To the delight of the nation’s ballet fans, “Swan Lake” will shortly be gracing the Tokyo summer for two weeks — not in its traditional classical form, but in the new-classic guise of “Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake,” a revolutionary twist on ballet’s most tried-and-true ...

A dream comes true for ballet's star

Sep 3, 2014

A dream comes true for ballet's star

by Natsume Date

“I told Matthew (Bourne), ‘You probably don’t know how much I’ve waited for this day. I’ve wanted to do this work so much that I’ve almost been chasing you around’ — and now my dream’s suddenly come true, I feel like I’m floating on ...

Spreading Japanese culture, tradition through noh

Sep 3, 2014

Spreading Japanese culture, tradition through noh

Noh is one of the traditional Japanese theatrical arts and, with a history stretching back 700 years to feudal times, it is something Japan is deservedly proud of. Noh, an Intangible Cultural Heritage recognized by UNESCO, is a musical drama in which actors wear ...

Tokyo Ballet turns 50 with a glorious Gala of thanks

Aug 27, 2014

Tokyo Ballet turns 50 with a glorious Gala of thanks

by Kris Kosaka

Ahead of The Tokyo Ballet’s official 50th anniversary on Aug. 30, its website is already garlanded with tributes from international dancers and choreographers such as Sweden’s Mats Ek and Britain’s Akram Khan — and even from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. For dance fans, however, ...

Bunraku meets the Bard in new 'Sir Falstaff'

Aug 27, 2014

Bunraku meets the Bard in new 'Sir Falstaff'

by Ayako Takahashi

The type of Japanese puppetry known as ningyō-jōruri (aka bunraku) has its roots in 17th-century Osaka. Since then, though, there will rarely if ever have been a bunraku play drawn from stories written a little earlier on the other side of the world — ...