Artist Interview アーティストインタビュー
What is the Kabuki version Twelfth Night?
Yukio Ninagawa's new challenge
For his artistic efforts to recast Shakespeare and the other classics of Western theater with new, localized context that mirrors today’s realities, Yukio Ninagawa is a director who has won consistently high acclaim with productions of plays including Euripides's Medea, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pericles and a production of Macbeth titled NINAGAWA Macbeth performed before audiences in Britain, the U.S. and Greece, among other places. In May of this year, he brought to the traditional stage of Tokyo’s Kabuki-za theater a production titles NINAGAWA Twelfth Night as a new type of Kabuki that used traditional Kabuki actors instead of the contemporary actors he has consistently used in his other productions. The new challenge marked yet another exceptional step in the director’s illustrious career. In this production, the traditional conventions of Kabuki were maintained while adding bold new visual devices like backing the entire stage with mirrors. With its dynamic collision of Western theatric convention and the physical presence of Kabuki actors, this production has shaken the status quo in the Kabuki world at a time when it is having difficulty creating new works for its repertoire.
(Interview by Hiroshi Hasebe)