On the Performing Arts Program at the Aichi Triennale 2019

This article was originally published in The Japan Times newspaper on July 30 2019. The political function of art is a perennial question in the field of aesthetics. In classical Athens, Plato argued that art as a form of imitation was limited in its ability to communicate knowledge about political life. In contrast, Aristotle saw…

Learning to linger: on memory & migration in Eiko Otake’s movement art

Paper given at the Contemporary Japanese Theatre Workshop,  Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien, in Tokyo, July 27, 2019. This paper is part of a larger research project, co-conducted with Mika Eglinton, called “Japanese Women on the Move: Migration, Memory and Gender in Contemporary Performance.” The project draws on in-depth interviews with internationally renowned practitioners from Japan…

Learner autonomy and applied theatre in the ESL classroom

Paper given at the ILA Conference on Learner Autonomy at Konan Women’s University, September 5th — September 8th, 2018. Abstract In their analysis of autonomy in the educational philosophy of Paulo Freire, Nicolaides and Fernandes (2008) outline two broad strands in the theory and practice of learner autonomy in education. The first follows Henri Holec’s…

Dwelling on the Documentary Body in Takuya Murakawa’s “Independent Living”

Paper given at the International Federation for Theatre Research Conference (IFTR) in Belgrade, July 12, 2018, as part of the Choreography and Corporeality Working Group. The premise behind Takuya Murakawa’s “Independent Living” 2017, is deceptively simple. An audience member is invited to play the role of a patient. S/he is instructed to lie in silence…

Theatre Review: The Winter’s Tale dir. Satoshi Miyagi

Review of The Winter’s Tale, dir. by Satoshi Miyagi at the Shizuoka Performing Arts Centre, Shizuoka, 11 February 2017. Published in Shakespeare Studies, Vol 55, 2017. Pp. 47-50. Production trailer Time lapse video of the stage construction for The Winter’s Tale

Dance in Asia 2018 – A radical retelling of the Tale of Genji

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on February 20 2018. How do you make a thousand-year-old story resonate with an audience in Osaka today? Tell them that you plan to radically modernize one of the most famous literary works ever to come out of Japan to fit present concerns. The centerpiece…

Profile on Berlin-based visual and performance artist, Naoko Tanaka

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on January 13 2018. A spotlight shines on a miniature primary school chair. Its steel frame is crumpled like a child’s body cowering in fear. Soon, other chairs of differing sizes come into view, lit by a solitary woman, who crawls among them with a…

Mourning in, as and for the Theatre: the case of Ishinha’s Amahara

Paper given at the 15th International European Association of Japanese Studies Conference, at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. 31 August 2017. Abstract Performing on deserted beaches, and in villages, temples, dockland warehouses and urban railyards, few theatre companies have traversed the range of landscapes and settings that inspired the Osaka-based Ishinha. Yet though journeys…