The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Archive Index Home
Topics
2006.11.24
Presenter  Topics
Japan Society’s 2007 spring program lineup for their 100th Anniversary year
 Founded in 1907 by New York entrepreneurs as a private sector non-profit organization, the Japan Society engages in a wide variety of activities in the fields of arts and culture, education and international exchange, all with the aim of promoting mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and the U.S.
The Society’s theater department launched in 1953 has introduced to the American public all types of Japanese performing arts ranging from the traditional arts to contemporary theater, contemporary dance and music. Memorable performances have included the Kabuki of Tamasaburo Bando, the Noh of Hideo Kanze, the Kyogen of Mansaku Nomura, the music of Toru Takemitsu and the Butoh of Kazuo Ohno. Today, the Society continues to present about 40 performances a year at the theater of its New York headquarters as well as producing tours taking performances throughout the U.S.
For its 100th Anniversary year in 2007 a number of commemorative productions will be brought from Japan. There will also be programs that explore the theme of modern American artists who have been inspired by Japanese performing arts and adopted elements of those arts in their own works.
The spring program for 2007 has recently been announced (see details below). The autumn schedule will feature a “Turning Japanese” campaign aimed at will filling New York with Japanese performing arts. With the Japan Society taking the leading role, a schedule of Japan-theme programs are planned New York’s major theaters and cultural facilities.
+Japan Society 100th Anniversary Commemorative Programs (2007 spring season)

Feb. 7-10, 2007: Japan Society presents “Big Dance Theater”
The multi-faceted dance, theater and music company Big Dance Theater will perform The Other Here, a new work based on the short story by Masuji Ibuse as the opening program of the 2007 100th Anniversary schedule.

Mar. 22-24: Gendai Nohgaku-shu (Contemporary Noh Collection)Aoi/Komachi directed by Takeshi Kawamura
The playwright and director Takeshi Kawamura resets the two traditional Noh plays Aoi no Ue and Sotobakomachi in the present day world as a modern drama. The production stars former Takarazuka star Rei Asami and butoh artist Akira Kasai. This performance is scheduled with the Japan Society gallery department’s exhibition Awakenings: Zen Figure Painting in Medieval Japan.

Apr. 11-14: Opera Curlew River
This epic opera by one of Britain’s leading composers of the 20th century, Benjamin Britten, was inspired by the Noh play Sumidagawa. The production is the one created by the Opera de Rouen of France in 2005. The production is directed by the Paris-based theater actor Yoshi Oida and the musical director and conductor is David Stern, son of the violinist Isaac Stern. The cast is formed of international performers primarily from Britain and France.

May (dates undecided): Yukio Mishima’s Modern Noh Plays staged as work in progress
This is a work-in-progress production of a new translation of Yukio Mishima’s Modern Noh Plays staged by a young American director working with young American actors.

May 31-June 2: Dance performance mech[A] OUTPUT
This is a dance work choreographed by the New York-based Korean-Japanese choreographer koosil-ja based on the Noh play Dojoji. The multimedia production combines Noh recitation, computer-generate music, noise and 3-D live video.

July 19-21: Takigi Noh (Firelight Noh) —Taikoh Noh Revival
Taikoh Noh is a series of plays commissioned by the warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 16th century Japan. Although the manuscripts for the recitation of these plays remain extant, there is no record of how they were performed. The contemporary Noh artist Rokuro Umewaka stages these works as new Noh works staged in the outdoor firelight Noh style.
+Japan Society 100th Anniversary Commemorative Programs (2007 autumn season planned schedule)

Sept. planned: Japan Society commissioned work —Dohgugaeshi by Basil Twist
The puppet theater artist Basil Twist created this work with techniques from the traditional Awa region mechanical puppet theater still to be seen today in Tokushima Prefecture. It premiered in 2004 and won the Bessie Award among others.

Nov. planned: Kazuo Ohno Age 101 Commemorative Performances: Butoh, East and West
This is a festival celebrating the 101st birthday of butoh artist Kazuo Ohno. The performances feature early butoh artists Yoshito Ohno, Akaji Maro/Kochuten, Akira Kasai and Eiko & Koma. There will also be performances of new works by American butoh artists and dancers. The performances will take place with the 3rd New York Butoh Festival. During the festival there will be numerous film showings, symposiums, photo exhibitions and other events related to butoh.

Dec. planned: Delusion of the Fury by Harry Partch
This is a 1969 work by Harry Partch, a composer who stands along with John Cage as one of the representative postwar American composers. The revival and restaging of this Partch stage work inspired by his encounter with Noh and Kabuki is undertaken by music director/conductor Dean Drummond.
+Japan Society
http://www.japansociety.org/index.cfm
TOP