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Updated: Mar. 15, 2022

Winners announced for the 66th (2022) Kishida Drama Award

The final judging of the 66th Kishida Drama Awards took place on February 28th and two awards were given to Riho FUKUNA’s Yawarakaku Yureru (Gently Sway-ing) and Suguru YAMAMOTO’s Banana no hana wa taberareru (You Can Eat Banana Flowers).

Riho Fukuna was born in 1991 in Hiroshima Prefecture. Belonging to the drama school Murinkan’s directing department at Komaba Agora Theater, she established “paprika” in 2014 of which she is the leader, playwright and director. Her selected piece this time depicts the Ogawa family residing in rural Hiroshima, and it premiered as pap-rika’s fifth production in November of 2021. Jury member Ryo Iwamatsu commented: “The idle lives and ensuing abrupt deaths of members of a provincial urban family are captured through sparing dialogue: a masterpiece.”

Suguru Yamamoto was born in Yama-nashi Prefecture in 1987. A graduate of J. F. Oberlin University, Yamamoto is a play-wright, director and actor, and the leader of the theater troupe HANCHU-YUEI. Under the constraints of the COVID pandemic, his Banana no hana tetralogy was pre-released in 2020 as an online production, after which they premiered as stage pro-ductions from March 2021 recorded by six cameras for subsequent distribution online as a video work. The plot revolves around a user of dating service apps and a man pos-ing as a woman to lure in customers to stores, who befriend each other and set out to open a private detective business. Jury member Keralino Sandorovich commented: “The camaraderie between the “outlaws,” described uniquely as they were, brought me to tears, and I was enthralled by the vigor of the dialogue, which pours out ceaselessly in a continuing flow.”

Finalists (in Japanese alphabetical order)
Michinari OZAWA, Orleans no kyodai (Literally: The Brother and Sister from Orleans) (stage script)
Izumi KASAGI, Sea of Moscow (stage script)
Shigeaki KATO, Dye, Color (stage script)
Misaki SETOYAMA, Even If There Are People Who Laugh at Her (January 2022 issue, Higeki-Kigeki)
Masashi NUKATA, Bonyari Blues (Literally: Forlorn Blues) (November 2021 issue, Higeki-Kigeki)
Sho HASUMI, Ryokan janaindakara sa (Literally: This is Not A Ryokan) (stage script)
Pink Chiteijin No. 3, Kashi 1832 (Literally: Fahrenheit 1832) (stage script)
Riho FUKUNA, Yawarakaku Yureru (Literally: Gently Swaying)
Suguru YAMAMOTO, Banana no hana wa taberareru (You Can Eat Banana Flowers)

Jury (in Japanese alphabetical order)
Toshiki OKADA
Keralino Sandorovich
Hideki NODA

Kishida Drama Award

Yokohama Dance Collection 2021 competition winners decided

The Yokohama Dance Collection was launched in 1996 as Japan’s platform for an in-ternational dance competition, and having gone through various changes in the process, it celebrated its 27th holding this year. In addition to the dance competition, in recent years its program has grown in depth to include performances by past winners, invited presentations of new works by internationally renowned choreographers, joint produc-tions with overseas dance festivals and more.

The 2021 competitions drew applications from 116 artists and groups from 15 coun-tries, from which 22 finalists were chosen, based on judging of performance videos and written application documents, to give competition performances held December 4th to 12th (with overseas finalists being judged based on their submitted filmed performanc-es due to COVID-induced travel restrictions).

In Competition I (for new dance works), the work my choice, my body by Nakagawa Ayane, leader of the contemporary dance group Suichu-Megane ∞, won the Jury Prize, the French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographer and the studio AR-CHITANZ Artist Support Prize. Nakagawa is a director, choreographer and dancer with backgrounds in classic ballet, Butoh and theater who began creating works since founding Suichu-Megane ∞ while a student at J. F. Oberlin University. Also winning the studio ARCHITANZ Artist Support Prize and an Encouragement Prize for her work Beings (submitted remotely in performance video form) was Wang Yeu-Kwn from Taiwan. The other Encouragement Prize winners were Anna Iriso and Naoto Katori for WHAT’S YOUR NAME?, Minami Nakashiki’s Mienaikedo iru - touch the ghost skin-, while the Best Dancer Prize went to Yoko Omori for her piece Help.

In Competition II (for new choreographers), Kanae Asakawa won the Outstanding New Artist Prize and the studio ARCHITANZ Artist Support Prize for her workO ku based on a concept connected to the Japanese “Kamikaze” suicide bombing campaign that occurred at the end of World War II.

For details, refer to the Yokohama Dance Collection website.

Competition I

Jury Prize, French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographer
Nakagawa Ayane (Suichu-Megane ∞) my choice, my body,

studio ARCHITANZ Artist Support Prize
Nakagawa Ayane (Suichu-Megane ∞) my choice, my body,
Wang Yeu-Kwn Beings

Encouragement Prize
Anna Iriso/Naoto Katori for WHAT’S YOUR NAME?
Minami Nakashiki for Mienaikedo iru- touch the ghost skin-
Wang Yeu-Kwn for Beings

Best Dancer Prize
Yoko Omori in Help

[Competition I Jury]
Okami Sae (Dance Critic, Associate Professor of Kyoritsu Women’s University)
Kitamura Akiko (Choreographer, Dancer, Associate Professor of Shinshu University)
Kondo Ryohei (Director of CONDORS, Choreographer, Dancer)
Tada Junnosuke (Director, Artistic Director of TOKYO DEATHLOCK)
Hamano Fumio (Senior Editor, Shinshokan Dance Magazine)
Samson Sylvain (Cultural attaché of the French Embassy)
Simon Horrenberger (Director of the French Institute of Japan-Yokohama)
Christophe Susset (General Secretary, Centre national de la danse)

Competition II

Outstanding New Artist Prize, studioARCHITANZ Artist Support Prize
Kanae Asakawa for O ku

Encouragement Prize
Mana Hashimoto for Patriotism

Best Dancer Prize
Sho Ito in Roji

[Competition II Jury]
Vivienne Sato (Artist)
Kato Yumina (Director, Steep Slope Studio)
Wataru Kitao (Director of Baobab, Choreographer, Dancer)
Hamano Fumio (Senior Editor, Shinshokan Dance Magazine)

Yokohama Dance Collection

YPAM – Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting to be held (Dec. 1 – 19, 2021)

TPAM was launched as Tokyo Performing Arts Market in 1995. Later, the main venue was moved to Yokohama to strengthen cooperation with Creative City Yokohama and pursue the commitment to both the local community and international art exchanges, and the name tentatively changed to YPAM – Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting.

The Market in the TPAM name was changed to Meeting in 2011. Through 11 editions in Yoko-hama and 25 editions in total, TPAM developed a variety of projects, exchanges and collaborations with affiliated domestic organizations beyond the function as a market for packaged works, while also building a network of international collaboration. Since 2015, a series of collaborative creative projects have also been undertaken with countries of Asia. These achievements have led us to gain internation-al recognition as the single most influential performing arts platform in Japan.

In advance of the December 2021 holding of the Meeting, the new “YPAM Fringe Center” has been established at the Kogane Studio (Koganecho Area Management Center) in the Koganecho district of Yokohama with the aim of encouraging a greater number of people to participate in the YPAM Fringe platform.

YPAM – Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting

Kyoto Experiment: Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival 2021 Autumn Opens (Oct. 1 – 24, 2021)

This year’s Kyoto Experiment: Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival is being held from Octo-ber 1 – 24, 2021. As with the Spring 2021 holding of the festival, the director team will again be Yoko Kawasaki, Yuya Tsukahara and Juliet Reiko Knapp.

This time, amid the serious concerns and questions about how to live in “the present,” with the dan-gers of the coronavirus pandemic, the key concept of “Moshi, moshi” (the Japanese words used when answering the phone) was chosen to suggest the hidden things that “can’t be asked,” that “can’t be seen,” things that “we don’t listen to” and things that “we overlook.” In the directors’ message, they express the desire to “explore ideas around various kinds of unheard voices, be it the inner voice, voices of past and future, nonhuman voices, or the relationships between voice and the body or the collective voice and the body,” by making the Kyoto Experiment a platform for examining these difficult times we find ourselves in.

Of the three main programs of the festival this time, namely Kansai Studies, Shows and Super Knowledge for the Future (SKF), the Shows program invites forward-thinking artists from Japan and overseas. Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen presents his latest work Voice of Void, a vid-eo work and VR installation about the Kyoto School (a group of intellectuals formed around Kitaro Nishida (1870-1945) done in collaboration with the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM). Also presented is an outdoor performance project titles Moshimoshi City, in which artists including playwright Toshiki Okada, writer and theatre director Yudai Kamisato, and dancer Ayaka Nakama, do performances consisting only of their voices. Another work presented by Masamitsu Araki, an artist who builds unique sonic spaces based on his acoustic experiences and fieldwork, presents a work ti-tled Soundtrack for Midnight TAMURO, in which cars modified with exquisitely curated sound sys-tems and visuals perform stereo concert in the darkness of twilight with a parking lot in Mount Hiei as the stage. Also, Indonesian Rully Shabara, a member of the experimental music duo called Senyawa, using his original “Raung Jagat” improvisational chorus system to present a new performance along with performers selected through an open call audition.

Kyoto Experiment: Kyoto International Performing Arts Festival

Tokyo Festival 2021 schedule announced (Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, 2021), and start of Tokyo Festival Farm

An advance announcement has been released concerning the schedule and parts of the program for Tokyo Festival 2021 (organizer: Tokyo Festival Executive Committee). The festival is scheduled to run from September 1 until November 30, 2021 utilizing ven-ues primarily in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo’s Toshima City (ward) and with its program organized around the theme “A Blink in History.” Among the overseas invited program works announced are France’s Théâtre du Soleil’s production L’ÎLE D’OR KANEMU-JIMA (tentative title), a film work by Swiss director Milo Rau and more, while the domestic program features works including an outdoor theater production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Go Aoki and ambitious works by LOLO, Takuro Suzuki, Baobab, Kitamari and others. Serving as the festival’s Gen-eral Director is Satoshi Miyagi.

Also, new to the festival beginning this year is the Tokyo Festival Farm program which combines the Asian Performing Arts Festival (APAF) creative talent develop-ment program held until last year with what until now has been the Festival/Tokyo Research Program and Education-Outreach Program. Serving as Director of the Tokyo Festival Farm is Junnosuke Tada, with the program to be conducted in three catego-ries, “School,” a place to meet and learn, “Internship,” an on-site training opportunity and “Lab,” for exploring research and development. This range of programs will be con-ducted for people selected through open calls.

Plans call for the full Tokyo Festival program to be announced in August.

Tokyo Festival website