国際交流基金 The Japan Foundation Performing Arts Network Japan

Thank you for visiting the Performing Arts Network Japan (PANJ) website. We value your ongoing patronage highly. In order to better serve you, we now announce a change in the address (URL) of PANJ. Please note the URL change below and your “Favorites” or “Bookmarks” to the site if necessary.

Vol. 156 Updated Aug. 2, 2022

Thank you for visiting the Performing Arts Network Japan (PANJ) website. We value your ongoing patronage highly. In order to better serve you, we now announce a change in the address (URL) of PANJ. Please note the URL change below and your “Favorites” or “Bookmarks” to the site if necessary.

Old address:
New address:

Perfoming Arts in Japan 日本の舞台芸術

Artist Interview アーティストインタビュー

Reisa Shimojima

Kedagoro Dance to confront real cases
The Passion of Reisa Shimojima

Reisa Shimojima (born 1992) is a choreographer and dancer who leads the dance company Kedagoro, known for presenting works based on things like actual incidents of the past. Among Shimojima’s works are Sky (dealing with the madness and conformity pressures within extremist groups such as the Aum Shinrikyo cult and the United Red Army (Rengo Sekigun) which eventually led to numerous murders), Because Kazcause (based on the case of Kazuko Fukuda, who was wanted for murder and evaded being arrested until just before the statute of limitations deadline), and others, as well as her latest work, Sewol, in which she deals with the disastrous sinking of MV Sewol that caused many casualties. In this long interview we seek to reveal the passion of the artist Shimojima, who has said that more than creating dance works, she is interested in the community that can be born from dance.

Wataru Kitao

Wataru Kitao’s “Mind Beyond the Frame”
Driving Baobab and Dance × Scrum!!!

Wataru Kitao (born 1987) is the leader of the dance company Baobab and is active as a choreographer, dancer and actor. When Baobab’s Re:born project vol. 6 Please! Laughing Frame was released on the online project “STAGE BEYOND BORDERS” launched by The Japan Foundation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the distribution of works with multilingual subtitles, it gathered the attention and support of the younger generation, eventually recording about 300,000 views. In this long interview, we talk with Kitao about his quest for dance as a comprehensive art and the activities he has pursued such as launching in 2016 the festival “DANCE × Scrum!!!” and more that have made him a leader of his generation of dancers.

Min Tanaka

“I dance not in the place I dance the place”
The “Unnamable Dance” of Min Tanaka

Dancer Min Tanaka has been doing what are called “Locus Focus” (Ba-odori) in myriad locations around Japan and the world. In 2022, the documentary film The Unnameable Dance (directed by Isshin Inudo) has put Tanaka in the spotlight once again. In this long interview exploring the mind of the dancer, Tanaka talks about subjects ranging from his early encounter with [Butoh founder] Tatsumi Hijikata to the establishment of plan-B (Nakano, Tokyo) that marks its 40th anniversary this year, his undertakings with the Hakushu Festival and more.

International Presenter 世界のプレゼンター

Presenter Interview プレゼンターインタビュー

Sasapin Siriwanij

Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (BIPAM)
New Performing Arts Platform in Southeast Asia

The Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (BIPAM) was established in Thailand in 2017 as a development prompted by Thai participation in TPAM –Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama in 2015. Sasapin Siriwanij, the artistic director for BIPAM since 2018, is initiating international co-production as a producer as well as a member of physical theater company “B-Floor Theatrer”. In this interview we spoke with Siriwanij about BIPAM and how it is attracting attention as a new performing arts platform for Southeast Asians.

Birutė Letukaitė

Through the Throes of War and Its Soviet Past –
The fascinating journey of contemporary dance in Lithuania

Lithuania is the southernmost of the three Baltic countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. The country’s independence was restored after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. Serving as artistic director of the AURA Dance Theatre in the country’s second largest city of Kaunas, and founder of the AURA International Dance Festival that has continued since 1989, is Birutė Letukaitė. As a pioneer of contemporary dance in Lithuania, we asked her in this interview about her activities and the dance scene in this Baltic country.

Samson Sylvain

Promoting French Culture and Cultural Exchanges
Institut français du Japon – Tokyo

Institut Français (French Institute) was launched in 2011 as the umbrella organization for the culture departments of French embassies around the world and cultural facilities under the auspices of the French Government. In Japan, with its rich tradition of cultural exchange, Samson Sylvain, a specialist in Japanese culture, assumed the position of Chief of the Cultural Program at Institut français du Japon and the post of Cultural Attaché at the French Embassy, Tokyo, in 2018.

New Plays 日本の新作戯曲

モスクワの海 笠木泉 Sea of Moscow
Izumi Kasagi

This play premiered in 2021 as a production of the theater unit “Snuunuu” led by Izumi Kasagi (born in 1976) who serves as its playwright and director, while also being active as an actor. The setting is a small, old house in a residential area five minutes from the station in a neighboring town across the river from Tokyo. The story revolves around the interaction between an old woman who finds herself unable to stand up in the garden of her home and a woman passerby who tries to help her. The circumstances of the old woman, such as her reclusive stay-at-home son, and distant scenery surrounding the town, such as a power plant where a nuclear accident occurred, are spoken about.

苗をうえる 細川洋平 Plant the Seedlings Yohei Hosokawa

Yohei Hosokawa (born 1978), who also works as an actor, premiered this play in 2022 as a production of in the solo company Horobite, which he presides over as playwright and director. The story centers around a high school student who wakes up one morning to find that her left hand has turned into a knife, and the people around her who are hurt with no such intention on her part.

池田亮 Musume (daughter/girl) Ryo Ikeda

This play is written by Ryo Ikeda, a playwright and leader of the theater company Yu-mei who has written plays based on themes like his personal experience of being bullied and family stories, and it premiered in 2021 as a Yu-mei production. Centering around two mothers who became connected when their children married, the play strings together fragmented recollections to paint a picture of the ongoing lives of the families spanning two generations, with the various defining differences between the parent and child generations of our times.

Arts Organizations 世界の支援団体

欧州連合文化機関(EUNIC) European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC)
European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC)

EUNIC is a network of organizations dedicated to the promotion of cultural diversity and the building of mutual understanding both inside and outside the EU by means of cooperation between public cultural institutions and relevant ministries of the EU Member States, with the ultimate aim of strengthen international dialogue and cooperation through culture. EUNIC’s headquarters is located in Brussels. The network is made up of a total of 38 organizations from 28 countries in the EU member states and the United Kingdom, and the members include public institutions specializing in international cultural exchange and related ministries and agencies of cultural and international relations. In June 2022, Johannes Ebert of the Goethe-Institut was appointed as President of EUNIC.

日本芸能実演家団体協議会(芸団協) Japan Council of Performers Rights & Performing Arts Organization (GEIDANKYO)
Japan Council of Performers Rights & Performing Arts Organization (GEIDANKYO)

GEIDANKYO is an incorporated public interest association whose members include performer organizations and individual performers, such as actors, singers, musicians, dancers and other performing artists, as well as professionals involved in the performing arts, such as technical staff and producers. It was founded in 1965 to contribute to the performing arts by working to establish the various rights performers deserve and improving the social status and working environment for the full spectrum of performing artists and professionals.

クマ財団 Kuma Foundation Kuma Foundation

Kuma Foundation was established for the purpose of discovering and supporting the development of creators in 2016 by COLOPL Inc., a company widely known for its popular GPS-based mobile games designed for playing on mobile phones and the like, such as “Coroni na seikatsu” and “Shironeko Project.” Serving as Representative Director of the foundation is Naruatsu Baba, the founder of COLOPL Inc.