The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Vol. 96 Updated Mar. 31, 2014
Performing Arts in JapanInternationl Presenter
Artist Interview
Artist Interview: A homeless dance group  Showing the living body
Yuki AokiThe dancer and choreographer Yuki Aoki works with the homeless to create group performances under the name “Shinjin H Sokerissa!” The performances created with homeless men who initially had no previous experience or interest in dance succeed nonetheless in capturing audiences with the powerful presence of bodies that have endured the struggle to stay alive and an intriguing sense of humor. In this interview we learn about this unique mode of expression that transcends the boundaries of social action and community dance.
Artist Interview: Dozan Fujiwara, exploring the potential of the Shakuhachi, in the pioneering spirit of a great master
Dozan FujiwaraOn February 10th of this year, the master shakuhachi flute player Hozan Yamamoto, who rose to the rank of Living National Treasure while pioneering new possibilities for the traditional shakuhachi that extended to collaborations with jazz musicians, passed away at the age of 76. The spirit of this great master has been passed on to Dozan Fujiwara, who was apprenticed to Hozan from the age of 14 and went on to become the leading new face among shakuhachi performers in the world of traditional Japanese Hogaku music from the 1990s with his exceptional technique. In this interview, Dozan talks about his artistic activities and the potential of the shakuhachi flute.
Artist Interview: Portraying the strength of people struggling to live on the brink
Ikue OsadaPlaywright Ikue Osada (b. 1977) is the focus of attention today as a rising presence in the field of critical biographic drama. As the leader of the theater unit Tegamiza, she has researched, written and brought to the stage biographical dramas about actual historical figures including author Edogawa Ranpo, poet Misuzu Kaneko, poet and author Kenji Miyazawa and folklorist Tsuneichi Miyamoto. Her works, articulated in words she has discovered through voluminous researches and visits to the sites of her subjects’ lives, overflow with the passion of people who lived on the brink in times of struggle and change. This interview explores the inspirations behind the playwright’s biographical works.
Presenter Interview
Presenter Interview; A new home for the arts in Philadelphia, USA  FringeArts
Nick Stuccio
Held every September since 1997, the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe is a contemporary performing arts festival that is known for the large audience it attracts each year. The festival name has now been changed to FringeArts and a historical brick building has been renovated to create a permanent arts center of the same name. In this interview we speak with FringeArts executive director Nick Stuccio.
Presenter Interview; Challenging conventional values from Croatia, Festival “Queer Zagreb”
Zvonimir Dobrović
The Zagreb-based Croatian festival director Zvonimir Dobrović launched the Queer Zagreb festival in 2003 at the young age of 23 to take the concept of queer beyond the limited perspectives of the conventional LGBT (les, gay, bisexual and transgender) and create a wider platform for the arts. In 2009, he then started Perforacije as a festival focusing on the work of emerging artists in the Balkan region. This interview explores the activities and ideas of Dobrović as a figure who continues to speak out about the existing norms of society and the arts world from Croatia.
Presenter Interview; PARC and its record of achievement organizing international performing arts exchange
Hiromi Maruoka
PARC - Japan Center, Pacific Basin Arts Communication, is an NPO that works as one of the members of the organizing committee with the Japan Foundation and other organizations for the TPAM in Yokohama 2014 (opening this year on February 8), the annual performing arts market gathering professionals in the performing arts field. PARC was launched in the wake of the Meeting for Pacific Basin Arts Communication held in Tokyo in 1990. In this interview we speak with PARC’s President, Hiromi Maruoka, about the organization’s achievements until now and the present status of TPAM.
Play of the Month
Play of the Month; “Arui ha Tamashii no Tomarigi” by Atsushi Tsuchihashi
This is a play was nominated for the 58th Kishida Drama Award. Its author, Atsushi Tsuchihashi, is an Osaka-based playwright and director and leader of the theater unit A-kyu MissingLink. The setting for “Arui ha Tamashii no Tomarigi (Perhaps a Perch for the Soul)” is the home of the Kurata family deep in the hills on the outskirts of Kyoto. With a story line that switches back and forth between the actual present and the present that could have been, the play depicts the system that leads to the dysfunctional state of the contemporary family.
Play of the Month; “Goodbye” by Soh Kitamura
This play is the winner of the 17th Tsuruya Nanboku Memorial Award for drama. It is the first in a series of original plays that Kitamura is writing as an homage to Japanese literature. The subject of this play is the unfinished novel “Goodbye” by Osamu Dazai. An aging university professor named Komura with eight lovers hires a woman of unequaled beauty and then begins in a deceptive attempt to resolve the relationships by visiting the lovers one-by-one with the woman and telling them that they are now engaged to be married.
Arts Organization of the Month
Arts Organization of the Month; Artist Trust
Artist Trust is a non-profit grant organization in the state of Washington in the northwestern United States that was founded in 1987 with the mission to support and encourage individual artists of Washington state working in all disciplines, based on the belief that it is the individual artists that create art. Since its founding, Artist Trust has provided support for many artists under the motto of “Be a creative catalyst.”
Arts Organization of the Month; Foundation for Community Dance (FCD)
Founded in 1995 with head offices in the UK, Foundation for Community Dance (FCD) is an international network supporting community dance. FCD is an outgrowth of The National Association of Dance and Mime Animateurs (NADMA) of the UK founded in 1986. The Foundation’s current membership includes approximately 4,600 dance professionals worldwide representing over 1,800 individuals and organizations. As a support organization for professionals, FCD promotes exchange of information, professional development and networking.
Japan Topics
The 58th (2014) Kishida Drama Award winner is Norimizu Ameya’s “Blue Sheet”   New! (Mar. 12, 2014)
Yokohama Dance Collection EX2014 competition choreography award winners announced   New! (Mar. 13, 2014)
Nine cities make presentations as European Capitals of Culture (Mar. 11, 2014)   Mar. 13, 2014)
English version of “THEATER IN JAPAN: An Overview of Performing Arts and Artists” published
Artist interview collection from this website, “Energizing Japanese Culture: The Performing Arts in Japan,” released!
Presenter Topics
Germany’s circulating festival “Tanzplattform” opens in Hamburg (Feb. 27 – Mar. 2, 2014)   Mar. 13, 2014
40 Jahre Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (PINA40) opens (Sept. 5, 2013 – May 25, 2014)   Oct. 21, 2013
News from the Japan Foundation
News from the Japan Foundation
Sugimoto Bunraku “Sonezaki Shinju (The Love Suicides at Sonezaki)” European Tour (Sep. 27 – Oct. 19, 2013)   Sep. 17, 2013
Japan Foundation 2013-14 (second application period) foreign exchange grant recipients announced   Sep. 18, 2013
Performing arts support program “Performing Arts Japan” (PAJ) accepts grant application period for 2014 – 2015 (for arts and culture organizations of the USA, Canada, and Europe)   Aug. 23, 2013
2013 – 2014 schedule of the Japan Foundation supported PAJ for Europe programs finalized   Jun. 4, 2013
Japan Foundation 2013-14 (first application period) foreign exchange grant recipients announced   Jun. 4, 2013
2013 – 2014 schedule of the Japan Foundation supported PAJ for North America programs finalized   May. 14, 2013
Overview of “THEATER IN JAPAN: An Overview of Performing Arts and Artists”   Jun. 9, 2010