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

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Vol. 160 Updated Mar. 24, 2023

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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

Ryo Ikeda

Approaching a new type of theater that reciprocates with reality
Ryo Ikeda of the digital-native generation


Ryo Ikeda (born 1992) is the playwright and director of “Yumei,” who originally majored in sculpture at an art university and also works on stage design. He has presented works such as Ototoi (premiere: 2017), which is based on his own experience of bullying, and Aka (premiere: 2018), which is a dramatization of his own family story in which his own father appeared as an actor. What is Ikeda’s desire to use his own experiences and the voices of people around him who want to talk about himself as a starting point, and to explore a new type of theater creation that reciprocates with reality?

Koichiro Tamura

Dance that born of the relationship between “object and the body”
Irradiating society, the choreographic art of Koichiro Tamura

Koichiro Tamura (born 1992) commanded the attention of the dance world by winning consecutive awards at the 2016 and 2018 Yokohama Dance Collection. Born in Niigata Pref., where Noism is based, Tamura went from dance club activities in high school to beginning artistic activities in Kyoto, with its culture rich in opportunities for genre-crossing exchange. As in his representative work “F/BRIDGE” which has male dancers pacing with concrete blocks on their backs, Tamura presents works born of the relationship between “object and the body.” In this interview we seek to unveil Tamura’s reality, which is also seen in his other face as an after-school instructor for children, giving them daily opportunities to interact through dance.

Misaki Setoyama

Fusion of Original Gidayu and Dance
Yae Yamamichi connects classic and modern

Yae Yamamichi (born in 1995) became familiar with Kabuki and Bunraku in childhood, she learned the Gidayu shamisen (the 3-stringed Japanese lute) from the age of six and traditional Japanese shamisen from the age of 10, and she is currently active as a composer and Futozao shamisen performer. Yamamichi has collaborated with contemporary dancers of her generation to present original Gidayu performances based on traditional Japanese works. She is attracting attention as an artist who connects the traditional and the modern with her young sensibilities.

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

Matthias Pees

Interview with Matthias Pees, the new Director of the Berliner Festspiele

Matthias Pees started out as a journalist, and after working as a dramaturg at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin and the Schauspiel Hannover, he started a production company in Brazil. After coming back to Germany then he worked as leading dramaturg at the Wiener Festwochen. From 2013 Pees has served as the artistic and managing director of the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt/Main until 2022. In September 2022, he was appointed Director of the Berliner Festspiele, which brings together several festivals, including the Theatertreffen, and other projects and the exhibition hall Gropius Bau. We asked Pees about his views on his new team structure and reform of the festivals.

Dan Mitchell

Pursuing dialogue between the Indigenous and Immigrant communities
Footscray Community Arts

Located in the suburbs of Melbourne, Footscray Community Arts (established 1974) seeks to use art as a medium for promoting dialogue between the Indigenous community and Immigrant communities, through means such as appointing Indigenous Advisory Group members. This interview includes messages from the Indigenous Culture Program’s Senior Producer, Dan Mitchell, extending to measures for an arts and culture organization in today’s multicultural society that reflects Aboriginal concepts such as “Songline” and “Dreamtime.”

Sam Pritchard

Aim of the International Program at the Royal Court — London’s renowned “writers’ theatre”

The Royal Court is dedicated to cultivating rising talents and consistently presenting the best contemporary plays. In this interview Sam Pritchard, the RC’s Associate Director (International), talks about the theatre’s policy and practices that have turned out great playwrights such as John Osborne, Caryl Churchill, Sarah Kane and Martin McDonagh. He also discusses the RC’s playwrights’ workshop held in Japan as a joint project with the New National Theatre, Tokyo.

New Plays 日本の新作戯曲

イミグレ怪談 神里雄大 Immigrant Ghost Stories
Yudai Kamisato

Yudai Kamisato (playwright and director of the Okazaki Art Theatre), who continues to create works on the theme of people moving and crossing borders, co-produced and released this new play with Naha Cultural Arts Theater Nahart in October 2022. Asking the question, “What happens when ghosts and yokai who lurk in our daily lives move and cross borders,” this omnibus-style horror comedy develops from the idea of Immigre, as seen in the title, which stands as an abbreviation for immigration.

カタブイ、1972 内藤裕子 KATABUI, 1972
Yuko Naito

Written by Yuko Naito (playwright and director of the theater group EN), this play was produced as a project to mark the 50th anniversary of the return of Okinawa to Japan co-produced by ACO (Art Community Organization) Okinawa and Theater Office Natori. The first in the Katabui (Squall) trilogy series tells the story of three generations of the Namihira family who are sugar cane farmers. Kataboui is a squall unique to Okinawa in summer, where it rains heavily overhead while it is still sunny in the distance. The play depicts the day of the Okinawa Return Commemorative Ceremony held simultaneously in Tokyo and Okinawa on May 15, 1972, as well as the daily life of the Namihira family for the six months leading up to it (and performances of Katabui, 1995 and Katabui, 2025 are planned for the future).

ライカムで待っとく 蓬莱竜太 Backyard in RyCom Takuya Kaneshima

This play was written by the Okinawa-based playwright Takuya Kaneshima (born 1989) and produced by KAAT (Kanagawa Arts Theatre) to debut in 2022, the 50th anniversary of the return of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty following a period of U.S. occupation after WWII. The play was inspired by the nonfiction book Gyakuten (Reversal) about the trial of four Okinawan youths involved in a brawl that resulted in the death of one U.S. soldier and the wounding of another in 1964, during the U.S. occupation. The author, Chihiro Isa, had been involved as a juror in the subsequent trial of the four offenders. The play follows the findings of a magazine reporter living in Yokohama in 2022 who goes to Okinawa to report on the 1964 incident. And in time, the distinction between past and present becomes blurred, as we are drawn into an Okinawa story that cannot be ignored.