The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Vol. 114 Updated Apr. 25, 2016
Performing Arts in JapanInternationl Presenter
Artist Interview
Artist Interview: Physical ~ Physical Shintaro Oue’s unique language of “body knowledge”
Shintaro OueSince his nationwide [Japan] “Dan-su” tour, Shintaro Oue has become the focus of growing attention in the dance world. From a ballet background, he switched to contemporary dance. Since studying in Germany from the age of 17, Oue has participated in the creations of such famed choreographers as Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Inbal Pinto and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. From his base in Sweden, he created the unit C/Ompany in Japan in 2008. In this interview we explore Oue’s unique language of “body knowledge.”
Artist Interview: From new Kyogen to stand-up comedy and opera, the creative power of Doji Shigeyama
Doji ShigeyamaDoji Shigeyama (born: 1983) is recognized today as one of the new emerging talents in the world of Kyogen. Influenced by his late grandfather Sennojo (died: 2010), known for his rich variety of activities outside his Kyogen profession, and by his father Akira, Shigeyama’s activities as an artist have ranged from writing and directing the stand-up comedy Hyakumanben, a new Kyogen work Marikouji and directing an opera to bilingual Kyogen. In this interview we ask him about the sources of his creativity.
Artist Interview: Orthodox but radical, The theatrical power of Kenichi Tani
Kenichi TaniThe playwright, director, translator and dramaturge Kenichi Tani (born: 1982) is not only the leader of the theater company DULL-COLORED POP but is also active with Théâtre des Annales writing and staging well-crafted, contemplative plays based on extensive theoretical discussion. He also translates and stages contemporary foreign plays and works in collaboration with directors like Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and David Leveaux. In this interview we explore the theatrical drive behind Tani’s multi-faceted career.
Presenter Interview
Presenter Interview; The LIFT festival that has brought innovations to London   What is its next challenge?
Mark Ball
Launched originally in 1980 as an international student theater festival in London, the following year it was officially founded under the name LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) as the first international theater festival in the United Kingdom. Since then, it has continued to bring innovation to the London performing arts scene with programs of cutting edge and experimental performing arts from around the world and moves like using non-theater venues for performances. In this interview we speak with the festival’s artistic director since 2009, Mark Ball, about its new directions, such as projects using digital platforms.
Presenter Interview; Looking to the world’s diversity, the new direction of Theaterformen
Martine Dennewald
Festival Theaterformen is an international performing arts festival founded in 1990 based on a concept conceived during the Cold War of a festival for presenting the full variety of international performing arts in Braunschweig, a town close at that time to the border to the German Democratic Republic. For 25 years its programs have included numerous world premieres, European premieres and German premieres. In this interview we speak with the festival’s new director Martine Dennewald (born: 1980) who has brought to it a new policy of focus on audience participation.
Presenter Interview; M1 CONTACT  Striving to develop and spread contemporary dance in Singapore
Kuik Swee Boon
Launched in 2010, the M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival has been leading the spread and development of contemporary dance in Singapore in recent years. The festival was established based on an initiative of the leader of T.H.E. dance company, Kuik Swee Boon. In this interview he speaks about the present status of the festival, which also places a strong focus on educational programs.
Play of the Month
Play of the Month; Jigokudani Onsen, Mumyo no Yado (Jigokudani Hot Springs, Ignorance Inn) by Kuro Tanino
Kuro Tanino is the playwright and director of the theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino, known for productions created with stage art that creates spaces embodying human imagery and fantasies and drama that delves into the depths of the human soul. As with their play Okina Trunk no naka no Hako (2013), this play employs a revolving stage in telling the story of one night’s events involving a father-son puppeteer act invited to perform at a hot-spring spa deep in the mountains and the spa’s visitors. It is the winner of the 60th Kunio Kishida Drama Award.
Play of the Month; HEADS UP! by Yutaka Kuramochi and LaSalle Ishii
This is a musical with direction and lyrics by LaSalle Ishii and a stage script by Yutaka Kuramochi of PenguinPullPalePiles that resulted from a plan nurtured over a period of more than ten years. Set in a theater in a small regional town, it is an homage theater, depicting with a comical touch the dreams and disillusionments in the lives of the theater crew who love the plays it brings to life. The story revolves around the staging of one play, from the preparations to the performance and finally the taking down of the set.
Play of the Month; Jugun-chu no Ludwig Wittgenstein ga [abbreviated] (Ludwig Wittgenstein in Military Service) By Kenichi Tani
This is the third play that Kenichi Tani has written for the theater unit Théâtre des Annales he established for the purpose of staging dialogue plays on serious subjects. It premiered in 2013 and has been restaged in 2015 and ’16. The play depicts the philosophical thought and search for the meaning of life of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein from the time he enlisted with the Austro-Hungarian Army to fight in World War I to the publication of his main philosophical book, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. *The play has a longer official title.
Arts Organization of the Month
Arts Organization of the Month: Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres (AAPPAC)
AAPPAC is a membership-type organization with the mission of building a network of arts and culture centers in the Asia-Pacific region and promoting exchanges of programs, human resources and information in order to strengthen partnerships and advance professional specialization in the region’s performing arts. The Association was formed in 1996 through cooperative action by performing arts centers in the Asia-Pacific region. The head office is located in Singapore’s Esplanade Theatres on the Bay complex.
Arts Organization of the Month: Playwrights Foundation
The Playwrights Foundation was founded in 1976 on America’s West Coast by the theater director Robert Woodruff for the purpose of supporting playwrights by discovering, nurturing and providing performance opportunities for talented contemporary playwrights. Various forms of support are provided for searching out good plays by young and mid-career playwrights and bringing them to the stage through the good graces of producers and the like. Until now the foundation has helped support the careers of more than 500 playwrights.
Arts Organization of the Month: Japan 2.5-Dimensional Musical Association
Founded in March 2014 as a general incorporated association with the aim of promoting and developing the new genre of “2.5-D musicals” that bring to the stage stories based on popular manga comic, anime movie and video game contents (including some works that don’t include music and songs). The association’s participating members range widely, not only from entertainment industry publishing companies, TV broadcasting companies, theater production companies and the like, but also travel agencies, system development companies and others.
Japan Topics
Kuro Tanino’s play Jigokudani Onsen Mumyo no Shuku (Jigokudani Hot Springs Ignorance Inn) winner of the 60th (2016) Kishida Drama Award   New! (Apr. 25, 2016)
Yokohama Dance Collection 2016 competition choreography award winners chosen   Mar. 8, 2016
New National Theatre, Tokyo, has announced 2016/2017 season lineup   Feb. 10, 2016
Setouchi Triennale 2016 program announced   Feb. 10, 2016
Presenter Topics
Leading presenter of cutting-edge theater, the biennial London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) opens (June 2 – July 2, 2016)   New! (Apr. 25, 2016)
Austria’s leading comprehensive arts festival “Wiener Festwochen” opens (May 13 – June 19, 2016)   New! (Apr. 25, 2016)
Berlin’s Theatertreffen opens (May 6 – 22, 2016)   New! (Apr. 25, 2016)
News from the Japan Foundation
News from the Japan Foundation
Japan Foundation 2015 – 2016 (second application period) foreign exchange grant recipients announced   Oct. 21, 2015
Japan Foundation 2015 – 2016 (first application period) foreign exchange grant recipients announced   Sep. 18, 2015
2015 – 2016 schedule of the Japan Foundation supported PAJ for North America programs finalized   Sep. 18, 2015
2015 – 2016 schedule of the Japan Foundation supported PAJ for North America programs finalized   Sep. 18, 2015
Wochi Kochi Magazine Vol. 054 “Japanese Contemporary Art that Captivates Europe”   New!