Choreographer Kaori Ito appointed next Director of a national theater center in France
Choreographer Kaori Ito who is active primarily in Europe has been named the next Director of the TFP Centre Dramatique National Strasbourg-Grand Est (TJP National Theater Center Strasbourg-Grand Est) in eastern France. The announcement by the French Ministry of Culture says that Ito’s term and Director will begin from January 1, 2023.
Kaori Ito is a native of Tokyo, Japan. After studying classical ballet in Japan, she studied at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York and went on to dance in the works of famous choreog-raphers such as Philippe Decouflé, Angelin Preljoçaj and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In 2015, she estab-lished her own dance company, Compagnie Himé, and continued her activities as dancer and choreog-rapher primarily in Europe.
In 2015, in a duo with her father who is a sculptor, she presented a work titled I Dance Be-cause I Do Not Trust Words. This work was subsequently performed in more than 40 cities around the world, and also toured Japan in 2018. In 2021, her company Compagnie Himé was invited to Yokohama Dance Collection where it presented the Japan premiere of the work Anata-e (To You).
- TFP Centre Dramatique National Strasbourg-Grand Est
Doughnuts, written and directed by Toshiki Okada, premieres at Thalia in der Gaußstraße, Hamburg
Doughnuts by OKADA Toshiki made its debut on Jan. 21, 2022 at Thalia in der Gaußstraße as one of the opening programs of the “Lessingtage”, the annual international festival organized by Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Germany. This production will be the fifth work by Okada for the repertory of a publicly subsidized theater in the country succeeding four works staged between 2016-2019 at Münchner Kammerspiele, Munich.
The script features five attendees of a conference who are waiting for the arrival of a taxi in the lobby of a recently opened hotel, and one hotel employee, along with a deep fog settling in outside. Collaboration with Okada in the two-month production process were creators he had worked with continuously in Munich, including stage designer Dominic Huber, costume designer Tutia Schaad, composer Kazuhisa Uchihashi (collaborating since NŌ THEATER) and dramaturg/ interpreter Makiko Yamaguchi (collaborating in all works except NŌ THEATER) as well as script translator Andreas Regelsberger. For dramaturg Julia Lochte and six actors (Johannes Hegemann, Maike Knirsch, Björn Meyer, Toini Ruhnke, Steffen Siegmund, André Szymanski) from Thalia Theater, it was their first time working with Okada and experiencing his style - developing the piece incrementally in repeated readings of the text as well as discussions about the relationship between text and physical movements.
The piece received favorable reviews after the premiere performance, such as, “A strong performance, a special theatrical experience. As expressive as it is delicate, as funny as it is clever.” (Stefan Forth, the performing arts critique website Nachtkritik) and, “Okada’s (…) intelligence was displayed, proving himself an expert in assembling philosophical representations of life in this, his first project with the Thalia Theater. The piece came together from script to performance, rendered masterfully by the highly focused ensemble of actors.” (Annette Stiekele, The Hamburger Abendblatt).
The New York Times on The Berliner Theatertreffen 2022:
Doughnuts has also been selected one of ten most notable pieces to be invited to the 2022 Berliner Theatertreffen to be held in May. For Okada, this is the second such honor, following The Vacuum Cleaner (Münchner Kammerspiele) in 2020.
Direction: Toshiki Okada
Staging: Dominic Huber
Costume: Tutia Schaad
Dramaturgy: Julia Lochte,Makiko Yamaguchi
Music: Kazuhisa Uchihashi
Cast: Johannes Hegemann, Maike Knirsch, Björn Meyer, Toini Ruhnke, Steffen Siegmund, André Szymanski
Photo: Fabian Hammerl
- Thalia in der Gaußstraße
- https://www.thalia-theater.de/en/play/doughnuts-2021 (With Trailer)
- Berliner Theatertreffen
- https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/theatertreffen/programm/2022/auswahl/10er-auswahl.html (English)