The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Mar. 12, 2018
Japan Topics
The 62nd (2018) Kishida Drama Award winners are Yudai Kamisato and Mitsunori Fukuhara
The final judging of the 62nd Kishida Drama Awards organized by Hakusuisha Publishing Co. took place on February 16th and two winning dramas were chosen, Valparaiso no Nagai Saka wo Kudaru Hanashi (A story about descending the long hill of Valparaiso) by Yudai Kamisato (Okazaki Geijutsu-za) and Atarashii Explosion (New explosion) by Mitsunori Fukuhara (Pichichi 5, Bed & Makings).
Yudai Kamisato was born in Lima, Peru in 1982. In 2003, while a student at Waseda University, he formed the theater unit Okazaki Geijutsu-za and has directed his own plays with it since. In recent years, as an extension of his interest in his own identity, Kamisato has created works that reflect his concern about the problems of immigrants and laborers, the relationship between the individual and the nationality, communication with one's contemporaries and other issues. This is his first Kishida Drama Award following three previous nominations. This play is based on experiences Kamisato had while in Buenos Aires, Argentina on a 1-year Agency for Cultural Affairs' Emerging Artist Overseas Research Program grant in 2016, and it premiered at the Kyoto Experiment festival on November 2017. It was performed in Spanish by Argentine actors. Kishida Drama Award jury member Akio Miyazawa commented: "The scale of the world it speaks of and its position are fascinating. It is Patagonia, and Okinawa, and Chichijima Island. It is possible to grasp the nature of lands that are remote from the main centers. The attitude that questions theater is in itself a strong response to theater."
Mitsunori Fukuhara was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1975. He graduated from the Arts Department of Tokyo Polytechnic University with a major in film. In 2002, Fukuhara established the company Pichichi 5 and has served as its leader, playwright and director. He has also established a number of other theater units such as Nippon no Kasen and Bed & Makings and has engaged in a wide range activities. This is his first Kishida Drama Award following two previous nominations. This play premiered as a Bed & Makings production in March of 2017. It is a fictional story about the scandal surrounding the first kiss scene in Japanese film history that actually appeared in the Shochiku movie Hatachi no Seishun (Youth, aged 20) that premiered in May of 1946, nine months after Japan's defeat in WWII, and it appeared as the maiden performance of the Asakusa Kyugeki theater. About the play, Kishida Drama Award jury member Hideki Noda commented: "In this age, it is hard to write about things that aren't gravely serious. In this context, Fukuhara is not gravely serious, but he never writes works that make us feel embarrassed about that fact. This is because of the overwhelming skillfulness of the lines he writes for the actors in his scripts. That skill is always encouraging to find for those of us who write."
+Finalists (In Japanese alphabetical order)
Yukinosuke Itoi's Shunkan Konen (stage script)
Yudai Kamisato's Valparaiso no Nagai Saka wo Kudaru Hanashi (stage script)
SaringROCK's Shonen wa Niwatori to Yume wo Miru (stage script)
Kaori Nishio's Yobu Yondeiru yo (first printed in the 1st edition of Shihai, May 2017)
Mitsunori Fukuhara's Atarashii Explosion (stage script)
Shoko Matsumura's Koshiraeru (stage script)
Yuri Yamada's Fiction City (stage script)
Suguru Yamagmoto's Sonoyo to Tomodachi (stage script)
Ryo Iwamatsu, Toshiki Okada, Keralino Sandorovich, Hideki Noda, Oriza Hirata, Akio Miyazawa
+Kishida Kunio Drama Award (Website in Japanese)

Ryo Iwamatsu’s Usui Momoiro no Katamari wins the 21st Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Drama Award
 Sponsored by the Kobun Foundation, the Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Award is a yearly drama award for new plays staged in Japanese that year. For the 21st Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Award, seven active theater journalists formed a selection committee, gathering on Dec. 14, 2017 to nominate five works during their first round of selections. Of these, Ryo Iwamatsu’s Usui Momoiro no Katamari (Pale peach-colored bundle) was chosen as the winner at the selection committee meeting held Jan. 23, 2018. The prize is 2 million yen.
Born in 1952, Ryo Iwamatsu is from Nagasaki Prefecture. His talents as a playwright and a director began to manifest themselves in the late 1980s, and in 1989 he won the Kishida Prize for Drama for Futon to Daruma (Dharma and the futon). He went on to win Individual Prize of the Kinokuniya Drama Award for Kowareyuku Otoko (A breaking-down man) and Hato wo Kau Shimai (Sisters keeping pigeons) in 1993 and the Yomiuri Prize for Literature for TV Days in 1998. His winning play this time was written for the 7th production of the Saitama Gold Theater, a company for the elderly founded by Yukio Ninagawa. Ninagawa passed away on May 12, 2016. The play depicts people living in an evacuated area due to nuclear fallout from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. It is an area inhabited by wild Japanese boars, the animal which is almost an embodiment of nature and of the primitive. The play was staged at the Sai-no-kuni Saitama Arts Theater in Saitama Pref. between September and October of 2017 with Iwamatsu as director.
+Nominated works (in performance order)
Kuishinbo Banzai! – Masaoka Shiki Seishun Kyoshikyoku (Hail to hearty eaters! – Rhapsody of the young poet Masaoka Shiki) by Karou Setoguchi 60’s Elegy by Ken Furukawa
Anne no Hi (The Day of Anne) by Roma Shimori
Usui Momoiro no Katamari (Pale peach-colored bundle) by Ryo Iwamatsu
Hato ni Mizu wo Yaru (Water for the pigeons) by Seiji Nozoe
Selection Committee: Hiroko Yamaguchi (Asahi Newspaper), Masako Nakamura (Jiji Press), Naoyuki Hayashi (Nikkan Sports), Yoichi Uchida (Nikkei Newspaper), Sayumi Uchino (Hochi Newspaper), Shoko Kodama (Mainichi Newspaper), Norifumi Yamauchi (Yomiuri Newspaper)
+Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Award

Yokohama Dance Collection 2018 competition choreography award winners chosen
Yokohama Dance Collection 2018 is the annual contemporary dance festival organized for the purpose of nurturing young choreographers and popularizing contemporary dance. The final competition was held this year from February 8 to 11 and the winners were announced on the final day.
In Competition I (Dance Composition Division) the Jury Prize grand prix went to the 2016 Seoul Dance Festival Choreography Prize winner Choi Minsun & Kang Jinan for the piece Complement. In Competition II (New Choreographer Division) the Outstanding New Artist Prize was awarded to Yurino Nagano for Maguro (Tuna).
Also, this year a new Best Dancer Prize was added to the awards and a partnership M-1 Contact Festival Prize (Singapore) was also added. The winners are shown below. For details visit the Yokohama Dance Collection website.
+Competition I (Dance Composition Division)
•Jury Prize: Choi Minsun & Kang Jinan, Complement
•French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographers / Sibiu International Theater Festival Prize: Koichiro Tamura, F/BRIDGE
•Encouragement Prize: Lee Kyung-Gu, A broom stuck in a corner
•Best Dancer Prize: Wataru Kitao, 2020
•MASDANZA Prize: Kim Seo Youn, Selfish Answer
•M-1 Contact Festival Prize: Kenji Shinohe, K(-A-)O
(Applicants: 106 groups/individuals from 9 countries / Finalists: 10 groups from 3 countries performed works up to 20 minutes)
+Competition II (New Choreographer Division)
•Outstanding New Artist Prize: Yurino Nagano, Maguro (Tuna)
•Encouragement Prize: Mizuki Taka, Hitogoto
•Best Dancer Prize: Rina Kobayashi, Suppon (Mud turtle)
•Touch Point Arts Foundation Prize: Seina Imaeda, Jibun no Me wo Nametai, to Omotta koto Arimasuka (Have you ever thought you want to lick your eyes?)
(Applicants: 31 groups/individuals / Finalists: 12 groups/individuals performed works of up to 10 minutes)
+Yokohama Dance Collection

Yokohama Dance Collection 2018 held (Feb. 2 – 18, 2018)
Organized by the Yokohama Arts Foundation, the Yokohama Dance Collection has been held since 1996 as a contemporary dance festival for the purpose of discovering and nurturing young choreographers and popularizing contemporary dance in Japan. For 2018, the 23rd holding of the festival, the theme is “SESSION / TRACE / HOME” and the competitions will be held over a three-week period with the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 1 as the main venue and additional venues at Yokohama Nigiawi-za Noge Share and Zou-no-hana Terrace.
For the Competitions (I and II) that are the main feature of the program, finalists are chosen based on video recordings of performances and written applications. For this year’s Competition I that is open to choreographers whose works have been publicly performed there were 106 applications from 9 countries, from which ten artists/groups (from Japan, S. Korea and the Philippines) were selected as finalists and their performances are scheduled for Feb. 10 – 11 at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 1. For Competition II New Choreographer Division open to choreographers under the age of 25, 12 artists/groups were selected as finalists from among 31 applications and their performances are scheduled for Feb. 8 – 9 with the Yokohama Nigiawi-za Noge Share as the new venue this year. On the final day, the Jury Prize grand prix for each competition and the Outstanding New Choreographer Prize winners will be decided.
The opening performance will feature a re-staging of Coffee (premiered 2001), a representative work of one of the Competition I jury members, Mikuni Yanaihara. Also, Keiichiro Shibuya (music), Jeremie Belingard (dance) and Justine Emard (video) will present their much talked about Parade for the End of the World, a fresh interpretation of the 1917 work Parade that brought together a script by Jean Cocteau, stage art and costumes by Pablo Picasso, music by Erik Satie in a performance by Ballets Russes. Furthermore, in a collaborative production with the Kansai region dance hub Dance Box, Misako Terada presents a work “Triology” created with three choreographers (Jung Young Doo, Yuya Tsukahara and Marcelo Evelin).
Also on the schedule are performances by past Yokohama Dance Collection competition winners or finalists. For this program, the 2016 winner of the Jury Prize, Aokid × Hashimoto Takumi will premiere their new work we are son of sun! as their winner performance. On the Dance Cross + Asian Selection program the French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographers prize winner from the same year, Junpei Hamada presents the Japan premiere of the work Sank you very much, which he created while on the residency program in France. Also on the program is a showcase of a new work the 2017 winner of the Prize for Young Choreographers, Reisa Shimojima, and the work that won the 2016 Seoul Dance Collection choreography award.
Furthermore, there is a showcase program of free performances to be held during the Yokohama Dance Collection run at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 1.
+Competition Finalists:
Competition I
Wataru Kitao, Koichiro Tamura, Tarinof dance company, Kim Seo Youn (S. Korea), Marcus Berry Arbas Que (Philippines), Yuka Oishi, Kenji Shinohe, Suichu Megane, Choi Minsun / Kand Jinan (S. Korea), Lee Kyung-Gu
* Jury: Sae Okami, Ryohei Kondo, Junnosuke Tada, Fumio Hamano, Mikuni Yanaihara, Thierry Bayle, Xavier Person, Aymar Crosnier
Competition II (New Choreographer Division)
Takkun Ikegami, Nana Kobayashi, Chisato Saito, Kozue Takamiya, Erena Takaoka, Yurino Nagano, Seina Imaeda, Ayane Okazaki, Satoshi Kato, Akane Kuri, Rina Kobayashi, Mizuki Taka
* Jury: Chie Ito, Vivienne Sato, Fumio Hamano
+Yokohama Dance Collection

TPAM in Yokohama 2018 to be held (Feb. 10 – 18, 2018)
The international platform for professionals in the performance arts, “TPAM in Yokohama,” will begin on February 10th. Held in 2018 for the 22nd time, the event will be composed of three programs—“TPAM Direction,” presenting the newest trends in performance arts across the globe; “TPAM Exchange,” an exchange program providing networking opportunities for professionals in the performing arts and the “TPAM Fringe” program open to general application.
This year’s lineup for TPAM Direction will include 14 works and projects, with artists from a host of different backgrounds. Of particular note are performance works that bring together artists from contrasting fields. These will include the performance Canon, featuring the “non-lethal” sonic weapon (LARD) of internationally renowned sound artist Samson Young (Hong Kong); the installation One or Several Tigers by filmmaker and visual artist Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore), incorporating elements of Southeast Asian shadow puppetry and; Tetsuya Umeda (Japan), whose productions span music, art, and performance, with Internship, a concert/performance in which Umeda, together with the theater crew, “presents/plays” the physical venue itself. Additional features will include a collaboration between contact Gonzo and pioneering Filipino Metal-core band Sky Church; as well as Choy Ka Fai, whose project takes an untraditional approach to “ankoku butōh” and the spirit of Tatsumi Hijikata, and a lecture performance and party by Jessica Zafra and Raya Martin on Filipinos that work abroad.
TPAM Exchange will feature multiple symposiums and talks on the performing arts. To be included are attendee-driven “Group Meetings,” as well as “Speed Meetings,” which are scheduled one-on-one meetings with both domestic and foreign presenters. Symposiums by such groups as the Asian Dramaturgs’ Network and the Open Network for Performing Arts Management will also be held concurrently.
TPAM Fringe will be featuring various artists who will be performing in Yokohama and Tokyo at the time of the event. Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project, Co. Yamada Un, Shintaro Hirahara, and Chiharu Shinoda are a few of these artists participating. Visit TPAM’s official website for details.
+TPAM in Yokohama 2018 (International Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2018)
Presenter Topics
South Australia’s largest arts festival, the Adelaide Festival (Mar. 2 – 18, 2018)
Founded in 1960, the Adelaide Festival is a large-scale comprehensive arts festival. Its two-and-a-half week program features a wide variety of arts, from theater, music, dance, literature and visual arts to works for children and more. Originally a biennale, the festival has been held annually since 2012. The artistic director until last year was the founder of London’s alternative music festival Meltdown, David Sefton. From 2017, welcomed the former co-directors of Sydney’s Belvoir St. Theatre, Neil Armfield AO and Rachel Healy as artistic directors.
Among this year’s large theatre productions are: Kings of War, a conflation of five plays by Shakespeare (Henry V, Henry VI Part I, II and III, and Richard III) directed by Ivo Van Hove; The Far Side of the Moon, written and directed by Robert Lepage; and the opera production of Hamlet composed by Brett Dean that premiered to high acclaim at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
On the dance program are: Akram Khan’s new work XENOS, which he has announced will be his final performances as a dancer in a full-length piece; the piece FLA.CO.MEN performed by the Israel GALVÁN, a famed maverick of the genre; and Bennelong, a work by Bangarra Dance Theatre that explores the life of one of our history’s most significant Aboriginal elders.
During this year’s festival a special program titled Adelaide Writers’ Week will introduce that gathers novelists and writers from around the world to talk on a wide range of subjects.

Festival Outline
Believing in the potential for an arts festival in Adelaide through his involvement in the South Australia national theatre movement, journalist Sir Lloyd Dumas and Adelaide University music professor John Bishop enlisted the support of influential citizens to launch the festival in 1960 with a program of 105 performances (74 for adults and 31 for children) over the course of half a month. Held biennially on even numbered years, the Adelaide Festival and its concurrent Adelaide Fringe Festival grew to become one of Australia’s leading international arts festival events along with those in Sydney and Melbourne. Invited participants from Japan include Daisan Erotica with A Man Named Macbeth in 1994 and Yukichi Matsumoto with Mizumachi in 2000. The festival has been held annually since 2012.
+Adelaide Festival

46th Hong Kong Arts Festival opens (Feb. 23 – Mar. 24, 2018)
Hong Kong Arts Festival, an international performing arts festival that has continued to present works of some of the biggest arts companies of the East and West and many big-name artists since its first holding in 1973, will be held again this year on a large scale in venues around the city. For the past ten years, the festival’s executive director is Tisa Ho, who is also active in management of Singapore’s Esplanade, marketing and curatorial responsibilities for the Singapore Arts Festival.
This year’s festival adopts the notion of “What’s real to me” as a theme and programed with many works are informed by a highly personal view of reality, which the organizers hope will provoke viewers to think about, and perhaps to questioning their own understanding of what’s real. In the rapidly changing political, economic and cultural aspects of today’s world, where it is increasingly hard to say where reality is headed, are no easy answers to this question, but the festival seeks to pose it in the context of artistic communication.
There are an especially large number of dance works on this year’s program, including the American Ballet Theatre’s new work Whipped Cream choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky; Ballett Zürich’s production Anna Karenina with choreography by Christian Spuck; and invited from Japan is Saburo Teshigawara with his work Tristan and Isolde.
Among the works on the theatre program, Montreal’s contemporary circus company The 7 Fingers presents “Bosch Dreams,” a work that seeks to bring to the stage a world inspired by the surrealistic paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, and from the U.S. the off-off Broadway company Nature Theater of Oklahoma presents Pursuit of Happiness.

Festival Outline
One of the largest-scale performing arts festivals in Asia, the Hong Kong Arts Festival is annually held for about one month from February, after Chinese New Year. In 1972, the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society Ltd. was established by a gathering of prominent figures in Hong Kong society, and since the festival’s first edition held in 1973, it has been introducing excellent performing arts works from China and around the world for more than 30 years. It has been managed with support mainly from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
The programs include performances of a wide range of arts productions from Asia and around the world, including opera, music, jazz, world music, theater, musicals, dance, exhibitions and more are held. The festival also offers full programs of workshops for young people and educational programs.
In the field of contemporary dance, the festival has begun a “Asia-Pacific Dance Platform” to present the works of young choreographers and dance artists active in Asia. With the aim of growing the audience for contemporary dance in Hong Kong, a concurrent program of workshops and discussions is also held. Furthermore, a new platform for crossover experimental works named the “New Stage Series” has also been newly established.
+ Hong Kong Arts Festival

New York’s international theater festival Under the Radar (Jan. 4 – 15, 2018)
Known for its annual programs of the most cutting-edge performing arts in the U.S., the Under the Radar international theater festival was held again this year with New York’s The Public Theater as its main venue. Currently, the festival’s co-directors are the festival’s founder Mark Russell and the director and playwright Meiyin Wang.
Over the past 14 years, some 229 groups from 42 countries have been invited to this festival held at The Public Theater. While of course included in these are contemporary theater-makers from around the U.S., a big role of this festival has been to give the American contemporary theater scene that otherwise tends to be isolated an opportunity to encounter the latest work from the countries of Europe. Among the artists and groups from America that have won opportunities to perform internationally thanks to this festival as Elevator Repair Service, Nature Theater of Oklahoma, Young Jean Lee and others.
The festival consists of the Main Program presenting works of cutting-edge performing arts by contemporary artist and groups from the U.S. and abroad, the “In Concert” program the “re-engineers the intersection of music and theater,” the “Incoming” program introducing the work of new-generation directors and choreographers, and other events such as panel discussions and the like.
Among the works in this year’s Main Program are Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s Pursuit of Happiness, a criticism of the post 9/11 world in a comical theater approach; the Chinese director Wang Chong and his company Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental present Thunderstorm 2.0, a re-interpretation of early 20th century playwright Cao Yu’s 1951 drama Thunderstorm; and Margarete by the documentary theater artist Janek Turkowski active in Szczecin, Poland. From Japan, Satoshi Miyagi presents Mugen Noh Othello at the Japan Center. This is a re-interpretation of Shakespeare’s famous play form the perspective of mugen (ghostly spirit) Noh. In it, Othello’s murdered wife Desdemona returns live out her memories of her life with Othello to eternity as a ghost in a world of this ultimate form of Noh.

Festival Outline
This festival is held in New York at the same time as the APAP arts market and takes The Public Theater in New York as its main venue. The festival premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in 2005 and moved its main venue to The Public Theater the following year and began inviting works from abroad. By 2009, some 52 works from 14 countries were presented. Also on its programs are works produced jointly with such leading internationally acclaimed American artists and companies as SITI Company, Elevator Repair Service and Nature Theater of Oklahoma, among others. The founder of Under the Radar is Mark Russell long-time director of New York’s PS122 and leader in the New York arts scene who afterward served as artistic director of Time-Based Arts Festival (2006-08) at Portland’s PICA and remains one of North America’s important presenters of contemporary performing arts.
+Under The Radar

South India’s 10th International Theatre Festival of Kerala held (Jan. 20 – 28, 2018)
This performing arts festival that began in the state of Kerala in southern India in December of 2008 celebrates its 10th holding this year. The inaugural holding of the festival only introduced works of traditional and contemporary theater from the neighboring member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Bangladesh, China, Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but in the years since, the festival has gradually grown in scope to become a grand-scale festival now inviting about 30 works each year, not only from South Asia but other parts of Asia, Europe and the Americas, from Colombia to Poland, Lithuania to Bolivia and Japan and the UK. The artistic director since 2015, Sankar Venkateswaran (born 1979), is one of the most acclaimed contemporary Indian theater directors, whose works are performed worldwide. Invited to the 2016 KYOTO EXPERIMENT festival, he directed a very well-received production of Shogo Ota’s Mizu no Eki (The Water Station).
Each year, a theme is adopted for the festival, around which the invited works, workshops and symposiums are planned. This year’s theme is “Reclaiming the Margins.” The ‘marginalized’ are generally described negatively as those who have been isolated, excluded, or pushed to the edges (margins) of society as outsiders. But this festival takes a positive view margins, believing they can also be ‘spaces for collective reflection, engagement and action … it can be the margins that will help us recover silenced stories.’ They can be ‘creative spaces, where new art, ideas, performances, languages and landscapes come to life.’
In addition to local works from around India, the festival’s program also includes a select group of avant-garde theater works including, from Iran a production by director Azadeh Shahmiri titled Voicelessness, which depicts the women of Iran’s loss of political and social voice; a documentary theatre work titled Zig Zig by Leila De Lima telling the story of 12 Egyptian women raped by British soldiers early in the 20th century; a puppet theatre work for adults by the Giorgi Miqeladze Tbilisi Professional State Puppet Theatre of Georgia titled The Power of Lullaby; a physical theatre work by the contemporary theater company Ponggurl from Singapore titled The Malay Man and His Chinese Father, among others.

Festival Outline
Launched in 2008 by one of India’s leading dance and theatre research institutes, the Kerala Sangeetha Nakata Akademi, this is one of the most important comprehensive international theatre festivals in India. With a main focus on providing the opportunity for nurture, exposure and development of local contemporary performing arts, the festival also focuses on providing a platform for other folk and traditional theatre forms from Kerala and other parts of the country and the region. Furthermore, an ambitions program of seminars and workshops, exhibitions and film screenings are also planned to help visiting artists and academicians from abroad deepen their understanding of Indian culture.
+International Theatre Festival of Kerala