On the New National Theatre Tokyo's staging of Nick Payne's "Constellations"

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on Nov 26 2014. As the third play in its series titled Drama for Two — The Power of Dialogue, the New National Theatre, Tokyo, is set to stage acclaimed English playwright Nick Payne’s two-hander quantum love story “Constellations” for a three-week run from Dec….

Kyoto Experiment #5

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on Sept 24 2014. Kyoto Experiment, the city’s monthlong international performing-arts festival that debuted in 2010 and has been growing in popularity in the vanguard of contemporary performance every year since, is now set to embark on its fifth and most radical edition. The ongoing…

Nomura Mansai's "Suitcase Macbeth"

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on July 16 2014. Cultures collide on the small square stage of Mansai Nomura’s pared-down “Macbeth,” in which the actor/director draws on the restrained aesthetics of noh and the agility and wit of kyōgen traditional comic theater as he transplants his version of Shakespeare’s blood-soaked Scottish play to medieval…

On the launch of the Kinosaki International Arts Center

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on June 4 2014. JUN 4, 2014ARTICLE HISTORY PRINT SHARE The small hot-spring resort of Kinosaki beside the Sea of Japan in northern Hyogo Prefecture is as picturesque as it is peacefully genteel. However, with April’s opening of the Kinosaki International Arts Center (KIAC), this…

French theatre at the core of SPAC's 2014 festival

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on April 23 2014. It is often said that “variety is the spice of life,” but in the multifarious world of theater it is more a staple than a special condiment. That said, “variety” is the keyword chosen by Satoshi Miyagi, artistic director of the…

What lies over the Rainbow? Gekidan Taihen at 30

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on March 12 2014. Observing rehearsals by the physical-theater company Taihen for their upcoming “Over the Rainbow” show at ABC Hall in Osaka was in many ways a free-jazz experience. On a compositional level, the Taihen stage is an intimate meeting-ground between cast, crew, musicians…

Review of "Gear" an immersive, non-verbal theatre show in Kyoto

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on Feb 26 2014. Art Complex 1928, a contemporary performing-arts venue in central Kyoto, used to be a regional office of the Mainichi Shimbun national newspaper. Its 1920s  Art Deco-inspired architecture — including a star-shaped balcony and windows by Goichi Takeda — has even been…

Dance, Kobe – Dance!

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on Feb 12 2014. Whatever springs to mind when you think of Kobe, it’s unlikely to be dance. Yet, from the fourth floor of a nondescript building in the port city’s multiethnic district of Shin-Nagata there shines forth a veritable beacon called Dance Box. Founded…

Tokyo Performing Arts Market 2014

This article was originally published in the Japan Times newspaper on Feb 5 2014. As befits its designation as a “Cultural City of East Asia 2014,” Yokohama is about to host Japan’s foremost annual platform for contemporary performing arts. Launched in 1995 as the Tokyo Performing Arts Market, the weeklong event moved to its present…