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

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.

Ayane Nakagawa

Nihon Buyo × Ballet × Theater
The seamless world of Ayane Nakagawa

Ayane Nakagawa (b. 1991) was the winner of three awards in the Yokohama Dance Collection 2021 for her work my choice, my body, in which she danced wearing a Noh mask. Having studied ballet and Nihon Buyo (traditional Japanese dance) from childhood, Nakagawa went on to major in theater at university. This long interview explores the seamless genre-crossing world of Nakagawa’s unique contemporary dance.

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

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.

Ryohei Kondo

“Crossing” as a theme to make a theater more fascinating
Ryohei Kondo’s next stage as an Artistic Director

Ryohei Kondo is widely known as the leader of the performance company Condors, which presents cross-over mixes of dance, music, skits, film and more. His wide-ranging activities include performances around Japan, workshops for the public and educational programs to develop physical expression, among others. From April of 2022, Kondo assumes a new position as Artistic Director of the Sainokuni Saitama Arts Theater. In this interview we asked him to speak about his cross-over orientation and his aspirations regarding his new theater position.

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

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. Currently, the association’s activities include management of copyrights and other related rights through the Center for Performers’ Rights Administration, operating the Geino-Kadensha (a facility designed to serve as a hub performing arts, by providing rehearsal space, etc.), conducting research and making cultural policy recommendations in collaboration with the various civic agencies and organizations.

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.

ダンシング・ミュージアム Dancing Museums Dancing Museums

Dancing Museums is an action-research project designed to foster and sustain long-term collaborations between dance and museums. With France’s National Choreographic Development Centre of Val-de Marne (CDC) serving as a central coordinator, and with funding from the European Union (EU) arts and culture support program, Creative Europe, the project was launched in 2015 (second period starting in 2018 with six participating countries).