The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Mar. 13, 2014
Japan Topics
The 58th (2014) Kishida Drama Award winner is Norimizu Ameya’s Blue Sheet
The final judging of the 58th Kishida Drama Awards organized by Hakusuisha Publishing Co. took place on February 19th and the winner chosen was Norimizu Ameya’s Blue Sheet. The subject of this play is daily life after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and it is a stage script that was written in collaboration with students of the Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Sogo High School. It was first performed on the high school’s grounds in January of 2013 as a studio performance by the 10th class of the school’s Sogo (General Studies) student body.
The seven members of the Kishida Drama Award jury were Ryo Iwamatsu, Toshiki Okada, Keralino Sandorovich, Hideki Noda, Suzuki Matsuo, Masataka Matsuda and Akio Miyazawa. In his juror comment about the play, Noda said: “The play that Norimizu Ameya and the Iwaki high school students has given very clear and vivid descriptions of their encounters with the bodies of the dead after the disaster in words that are easily understandable. Many works dealing with the 3/11 disaster have been introduced, but of them all I find this to be the most alive and fresh with youthful insight and expressed in a way that will most likely remain as a work of drama.”
+Norimizu Ameya Profile:
Born in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan in 1961, Ameya participated in Juro Kara’s Jokyo Gekijo theater in 1978 and in 1984 he formed the “Tokyo Grand Guignol” company that soon won a cult-like popular following. In 1988 Ameya established the company M.M.M. and created a cyberpunk stage style that combined mechanical apparatus and the actors bodies in his “SKIN” series of productions. In the 90s, his activities shifted away from theater toward visual arts while still retaining a focus on the human body, creating works on subjects that included blood transfusion, artificial insemination, infectious disease, quality improvement, chemical foods and gender discrimination. After participating in the Venice Biennale in 1995, he suspended his art activities but restarted them in 2005 with his “Vanishing Point” exhibition. Recent works include Kyoshitsu (Classroom) (writing, direction), Oriza Hirata’s Tenkosei (Transfer Student) (direction), Junnosuke Tada’s Sannin Iru (direction) and Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis (direction).
Norimizu Ameya Blue Sheet (Stage script)
Ikue Osada Chi wo Wataru Fune (Stage script)
Kiyoshi Ori Kokugo no Jikan (Stage script)
Yudai Kamisato (Nomenai Hito no tame no) Black Coffee (Original play)
Misaki Setoyama Karera no Teki (Stage script)
Atsushi Tsuchihashi Arui ha Tamashi no Tomari Gi (Stage script)
Kaoshi Nishio Kanro (Stage script)
Kenji Yamauchi Koritsu no Yusen (Stage script)
+Kishida Kunio Drama Awards (Website in Japanese)

Yokohama Dance Collection EX2014 competition choreography award winners announced
Yokohama Dance Collection EX2014 is the 2013 edition of the annual contemporary dance festival organized for the purpose of nurturing young choreographers and popularizing contemporary dance in Japan. The competition was held this year from February 4 to 9 at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 1 and the winners were announced on the final day.
In Competition I (Dance Composition Division), the winner the Jury Prize grand prix from among 151 applicants from ten countries was Kim Bora (S. Korea) for A long talk to oneself. In Competition II (New Choreographer Division), the winner of the Outstanding New Artist Prize from among 34 groups was Shun Nakamura for Traditional chronic stick syndrome – Japanese Edition. As Jury Prize winner, Kim receives a monetary prize of 200,000 yen and the right to perform a new work at next year’s Yokohama Dance Collection EX, and as winner of the Outstanding New Artist Prize, Nakamura receives a grant of support for creation of a new work and the opportunity to perform it at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No. 1 performance hall.
For this year’s competition there was also a special Tel Aviv-Yafo Yokohama Cultural Exchange Prize for finalists of Competitions I and II that involved an opportunity to perform at the festival of Israel’s Suzanne Della Centre, and the Japanese pair of Shiori Tada and Junichi Akagawa and China’s Huang Lei were selected a winners. Listed below are this year’s award winners. For details see the Yokohama Dance Collection EX home page.
+Competition I (Dance Composition Division)
Jury Prize: Kim Bora (S. Korea) A long talk to oneself
French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographers: Kwon Ryung Eun (S. Korea) The Skill for me
MASDANZA Prize: Ruri Mitoh (Japan) ESQUISSE
Touchpoint Art Foundation Award, Encouragement Prize: Kim Boram (S. Korea) Mistake
Encouragement Prize: Daisuke Inoue (Japan) Body and The Century Recreation
Tadashi Shimada, twilight (*Special award for this year)
(Applicants: 151 groups/individuals from 10 countries / Finalists: 12 groups/individuals from three countries performed works of up to 20 minutes)
+Competition II (New Choreographer Division)
Outstanding New Artist Prize: Shun Nakamura (Japan) Traditional chronic stick syndrome – Japanese Edition
Encouragement Prizes: Tomo Mizukoshi (Japan) Vague Silence; Hikaru Okamoto (Japan) A Sand Spit
(Applicants: 34 groups/individuals / Finalists: 14 groups/individuals performed works of up to 10 minutes)
+Yokohama Dance Collection EX

Nine cities make presentations as European Capitals of Culture (Mar. 11, 2014)
Each year, the European Capitals of Culture program selects cities from around the EU to become Capitals of Culture for a year and put on a variety of cultural events. On March 11, representatives of nine cities selected as Capitals of Culture for the years 2013 to 2018 come to Japan to make presentations for Japanese artists and arts organizations in a symposium organized by the Swedish Embassy and the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee. For details and the information about the participants, please refer to the EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee website (URL below).
+Participating Cities
Kosice, Slovakia (2013), Riga, Latvia (2014), Umea, Sweden (2014), Plzen, Czech Rep. (2015), Mons, Belgium (2015), Wroclaw, Poland (2016), San Sebastian, Spain (2016), Aarhus, Denmark (2017), Leeuwarden, Netherlands (2018). English simultaneous interpretation is available.
Date/time: Mar. 11, 2014/18:30
Venue: Swedish Embassy of Tokyo/Alfred Nobel Auditorium
+EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee

English version of THEATER IN JAPAN: An Overview of Performing Arts and Artists published
    The Japan Foundation has recently published the English edition of its publication THEATER IN JAPAN: An Overview of Performing Arts and Artists.
    This collection consists of two parts. The first presents commentary on the latest developments of the Japanese contemporary performing arts scene, while the second part focuses primarily on the representative small-theater drama of Japan’s contemporary theater scene, as well as introductions of companies in genre such as puppet theater and performance. Details are as follows.
    Since 1989, the Japan Foundation has been publishing English-language handbooks and CD-ROMs introducing Japan’s performing arts to the foreign audience on an ongoing basis. The books published until now in this series include an introduction to theater and dance artists titled Theater Japan (1989, 1993), an overview of contemporary theater, contemporary dance, butoh, contemporary music and popular music titled Performing Arts Now in Japan (1995), an introduction to the latest trends in performing arts and the artists of the contemporary theater, contemporary dance and traditional Japanese music (Hogaku) titled Performing Arts in Japan 2003 (2003) and an introduction to the younger generation of Hogaku artists titled Performing Arts in Japan: Traditional Music Today (2005) among others. And, from 2004, Japan Foundation has been presenting information about the artists of Japan’s contemporary performing arts to a large international audience via this Performing Arts Network Japan website.
    THEATER IN JAPAN: An Overview of Performing Arts and Artists and Performing Arts in Japan: Traditional Music Today will be available at arts markets both in Japan and abroad and plans call for their contents to be added to this website’s archive in the near future. If you wish to acquire these publications, please contact us at the address below.

Errors have occurred regarding our recent publication THEATER IN JAPAN—An Overview of Performing Arts and Artists. We sincerely apologize for the following errors and any inconvenience this has caused our readers.
May 2008
The Japan Foundation

Page 49: Tengai AMANO’s “Yaji Kita” Mayonaka no Yaji-san Kita-san
[Error] First staged by: Shonen Oja Kan
[Correct] First staged by: KUDAN Project

Page 80: Stage Photo must be corrected on Akio MIYAZAWA’s “Entrance to New Town” Nyutaun iriguchi
Original title: Nyûtaun iriguchi
English title: Entrance to New Town
Entrance to New Town
Photo: Ariga Ketsu
+THEATER IN JAPAN: An Overview of Performing Arts and Artists – Contents
Part I
Overview of Performing Arts in Japan/ Latest Trends in Each Genre

Overview of Performing Arts in Japan
_ Trends in Cultural Policies Concerning International Exchange in Performing Arts
_ Current Status and Trends in Private-Sector Support for the Arts and Culture
_ The Latest Trends in Public Theaters and Concert Halls
_ Trends in Performing Arts Presenters and Arts NPOs
_ Invigorating the Performing Arts Through Visiting Productions and Taking Japanese Productions Overseas
_ Arts Management Education in Universities
_ Performing Arts in Japan on the Internet

Latest Trends in Each Genre
_ Small Theater (Shogekijo) Movement: Background and Recent Trends
_ The Most Recent Trends in Contemporary Dance
_ The Latest Trend of Kabuki, No, and Bunraku, Japan’s Traditional Performing Arts
_ Contemporary Rendition of Traditional Styles of Japanese Music (Hogaku)

Part II
Artist/Company Profiles

_ Contemporary Theater
_ Puppet Theater
_ Performance Art
+Contact: Performing Arts Network Japan
E-mail: performingarts[a]

Artist interview collection from this website, Energizing Japanese Culture: The Performing Arts in Japan, released!
      Since going online in December 2004, this website, Japan Foundation’s “Performing Arts Network Japan” has posted a new interview with a Japanese artist each month. Taking the 30th update of website this summer as an appropriate occasion a collection of the first 30 artist interviews has been compiled into a book that is being published on October 10 from the publisher Suiyosha Inc. The contents of the interviews have been edited to some degree and the result is a collection that we believe presents a vivid cross-section of the depth and vitality of Japan’s contemporary culture and the great diversity of expression it encompasses, while also offering a definitive overview of what is happening in today’s performing arts scene. This book will be sold in bookstores throughout Japan. For orders or inquiries about this book from overseas, contact the editorial department of Performing Arts Network Japan at: (performingarts[a]
Energizing Japanese Culture
Energizing Japanese Culture: The Performing Arts in Japan
(Performing Arts ni miru – Nihonjin no Bunkaryoku)

Messages for the world from 30 leading artists in field ranging from the traditional Japanese arts to contemporary dance
Editorial Review: From the World Heritage traditional arts of Noh and Kabuki theater to Japanese traditional music, theater and contemporary dance, the performing arts of Japan today are world renowned for their diversity and depth of expression and living proof of the cultural dynamism of the Japanese. Here are in-depth interviews with 30 artists who speak to the world.

The artists (In order of appearance in the book)
Mansai Nomura/ Kazuyoshi Kushida/ Kojun Arai/ Oriza Hirata/ Hironori Naito/ Go Aoki/ Harue Yamagata/ Kazuki Nakashima/ Kim Ito/ Sakiko Oshima/ Toshie Tanaka/ Michiyo Yagi/ Norihiko Tsukuda/ Daisuke Miura/ Kanjuro Fujima/ Shigehiro Ide/ Ai Nagai/ Yukihiro Isso/ Yukichi Matsumoto/ Toshiki Okada/ Ikuyo Kuroda/ Yukio Ninagawa/ Shuichi Hidano/ Akaji Maro/ Ryohei Kondo/ Keishi Nagatsuka/ Yoshihiro Kurita/ Yoji Sakate/ Hiromitsu Agatsuma/ Jo Kanamori

Publisher: Suiyosha Inc.
Supervision: Japan Foundation
Editing: Institute for the Arts
Size: A5 size, 336 pages
Price: 2800 yen plus tax
Presenter Topics
Germany’s circulating festival “Tanzplattform” opens in Hamburg (Feb. 27 – Mar. 2, 2014)
In its 11th holding, the biennial contemporary dance festival “German Dance Platform” (Tanzplattform) held on a rotating basis in cities of Germany was held this year in Hamburg. The venue was Kampnagel, a 19th century former factory that has been refurbished and is now functioning as an international culture and arts center focusing mainly on contemporary culture. The artistic director of the center’s theater is Amelie Deuflhard, together with a jury of four selected 12 works to be invited.
The festival’s opening performance was Sider by the William Forsythe Company. The work’s subject is stories of actors from films portraying 16th century Elizabethan era of England. From this material, examples of various forms on inconsistency of things are acted out in rhythmical dance.
From the second day the festival program was packed with notable works. The Frankfurt Ballet Company dancer and choreographer Richard Siegal from the William Forsythe Company era presented the solo work Black Swan. The Damaged Goods company led by Meg Stuart presented Built to Lost, a serious and also comical work about aspirations toward the eternal set to rich orchestra music in collaboration with Muenchner Kammerspiele. Sebastian Matthias’ work Danserye takes as its subject the musical score collection Musyck Boexken Danserye of the Renaissance composer Tielman Susato. Among the other works, Isabelle Schad & Laurent Goldring presented Der Bau, a work dealing with the work by Kafka of the same title; and Pina Bausch’s former dramaturge, Raimund Hoghe, presented his work Cantatas.
Also on the program was the “Pitching” program in which 10 artists gave 20-minute presentations on their work, and other lectures.

Tanzplattform was launched in 1994 to serve as the German counterpart jury (platform) for the French International Meeting of Dance of Bagnolet. The first festival was held in Berlin as a collaborative project by the three cities of Berlin Frankfurt and Munich presenting works by 25 companies active in the cities and attracting 130 promoters from around the world. Held biennially since then, the second holding was in Frankfurt and the third in Munich. For each festival producers and journalists are invited from Germany and abroad, and the festival itself has become established as the leading platform offering the latest in German contemporary dance. Since its third holding, the festival has been hosted by Hamburg (2000), Leipzig (2002), Dusseldorf (2004), Stuttgart (2006), Hannover (2008), Nuremberg (2010) and Dresden (2012).

40 Jahre Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (PINA40) opens (Sept. 5, 2013 – May 25, 2014)
In this, the fourth year since the passing of Pina Bausch, the 40 Jahre Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch (PINA40) celebrates the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Tanztheater Wuppertal company with a nine-month festival beginning from September 5th. The venues are the opera house, movie theaters, the sculpture park and other event spaces around the city of Wuppertal, Germany where the company is based as well as the theaters and opera houses of Essen and Dusseldorf with which close relations exist. The festival’s extensive program includes not only performances of the company’s repertory pieces from the past but also movies about Tanztheater Wuppertal and concerts by related musicians, exhibitions, workshops and more.
The opening featured works like Palermo Palermo that premiered in 1989, and other works from the past to be performed are as follows: Café Müller / The Rite of Spring (1978), 1980 – A Piece by Pina Bausch (1980), Bandoneon (1981), Carnations (1982), Viktor (1986), Ahnen (1987), Wiesenland (2000), For the Children of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (2002), Bamboo Blues (2007), Sweet Mambo (2008).
One of the programs drawing special attention is titled the “Stravinsky Triple Bill” of Wind von West / Der zweite Frühling / Das Frühlingsopfer. This work that premiered in 1975, is being restaged and performed by students of the Julliard School of Music where Pina Bausch studied on scholarship in the 1960s and her alma mater, the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen. There will also performances of works by dance artists formerly with Tanztheater Wuppertal, such as Fabien Prioville, whose dance company will perform a new work at the Tanzhouse nrw in Dusseldorf.
Appearing in the “Friends” of the company talk sessions are an illustrious group of dance artists and choreographers including William Forsythe, Robert Wilson, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, the Swedish choreographer Mats Ek, the leader of Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theater, Lin Hwai-min and the Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoul.
Other features of the program are an installation by Peter Pabst, who created stage art for the company for many years, showings of an assortment of films of Tanztheater Wuppertal performances and documentaries about the company, a concert of stage music by Japanese composer and musician Jun Miyake and other events introducing aspects of the company from a number of different perspectives. In the Opera House lobby a series of interviews are planned with contemporary dancers and other related figures speaking about the late Pina Bausch as the great choreographer to be added to her archive.