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…

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…

Is all the World Still a Stage? Shakespeare and ESL in Higher Education in Japan

Roundtable panel discussion, part of the Japanese Society for Theatre Research Conference held at Kyoto Sangyo University, December 3-4 2016. Panel rationale             Student-led productions of Shakespeare were a common feature in post-war Japanese universities. Shakespeare was still widely seen as the centre of the western literary canon, and English literature departments took pride in…

In Search of Direction: Mapping, Materiality and Theatre Ecology in Rural Japan

Paper given at the IFTR 2016 Conference at the University of Stockholm, Sweden. Abstract For the past forty-five years, Yukichi Matsumoto and the Osaka-based Ishinha theatre company have been creating site-specific performances that explore the intersection of urban and rural life in Japan. The company’s most recent work, “Twilight” (2015), was devised in Sone Village,…