Singin' ballet star leads top show's Tokyo cast

Oct 1, 2014

Singin' ballet star leads top show's Tokyo cast

by Ayako Takahashi

Any pantheon of classic Western musical comedy films would include 1952′s “Singin’ in the Rain” starring the legendary actor and dancer Gene Kelly. Set in late- 1920s Hollywood as it was transitioning from silent films to talkies, it depicts a romance between an established ...

Kafka's worm takes a high-tech turn

Oct 1, 2014

Kafka's worm takes a high-tech turn

by Nobuko Tanaka

“I work a lot in France, where manga and anime are enormously popular, although many theater producers think they are basically for children and are often too violent. However, they regard my robot theater as being an essentially Japanese art form,” the pioneering dramatist ...

Oct 1, 2014

'Yama' brings ancient folk tales to life on stage

by Lindsay Nelson

At one point in “Yama,” two actors become foxes just by pulling their conical straw hats down over their faces to give them pointy snouts. It’s an idea the play’s director, Andrew Wakatsuki-Robinson, got from headgear he saw at the ancient Yama-dera Temple in ...

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 ...