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Nov. 5, 2016
Japan Topics
Lineup Announced for the 9th “Festival Tokyo 16” (Oct. 15 – Dec. 11, 2016)
 
The performing arts festival originating in Tokyo, the “Festival/Tokyo 16” (F/T16), will be held for the ninth time this year under the slogan, “Finding New People, Striving Beyond Borders,” hosting 10 events with a total of 16 performances, spanning approximately two months beginning on October 15th. Centered at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, the event will encompass several other venues in tie-ups with the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. This year, the event has also been designated as part of the “Tokyo Metropolitan Festival 2016,” a new city-wide, multidisciplinary initiative begun this autumn by the city of Tokyo (September 1st-December 18th, 2016).
From abroad, director Krystian Lupa, a key figure in the Polish theatrical scene, will be making his first appearance in Japan. He is responsible for the adaptation and directing of the novel Woodcutters by Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard into a play of the same title that questions the directionality of art and of the state. Choreographer Susanne Linke, at the height of her powers, will be joining the event from Germany, for what will be her first return to Japan in 16 years, directing a series of shows tracing the evolution of contemporary dance. Up-and-coming choreographer Sebastian Matthias will be presenting x / groove space, a collaborative effort with Japanese artists that contemplates the relationship between cities and choreography. Playwright and choreographer Kunhyung Park will be arriving from Korea with his theater, Golmokil, to premier his controversial All the Soldiers are Pathetic, which shows the memories of those who have become victims throughout history, in conjunction with the Namsan Arts Center (Seoul) for the first time in Japan.
Also to be presented is the “Asia Series,” a joint program with the Japan Foundation Asia Center, with this year’s focus being on artists from Malaysia. Featured artists will include Jo Kukathas and the Instant Café Theater Company, performing their representative works, and young choreographer Ren Xin Lee with his newest work.
From Japan, the marebito theater company and F/T16 will jointly be taking on a new long-term project, entitled “Performing Fukushima,” which delves deeply into the memories of Fukushima prefecture. Other presentations include idevian crew’s newest work, and there is a participatory event titled “Festival Fukushima! @Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Park,” and a new series of theatrical and dance productions titled “Outdoor Performance Series.”
+Festival/Tokyo (F/T) 16
http://www.festival-tokyo.jp/en/

“Roppongi Art Night 2016,” held in autumn (Oct. 21 – 23, 2016)
 
Roppongi, Tokyo is home to diverse commercial establishments and cultural venues. “Roppongi Art Night” has been held as a model program within the greater Tokyo area since 2009 as an effort to bring art into urban lifestyles, and promotion of urban development in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area centered around culture. Held for the seventh time in 2016, the event was timed in the autumn to coincide with the “Sports and Culture World Forum,” and was held from Oct. 21st to 23rd. Under the slogan of “Roppongi, Art Playground - Let’s Run Around and Try Things Out!” a plethora of installations were established throughout the city, encompassing contemporary art, displays of design, music, visual installations and performances.
Contemporary artist Kohei Nawa was chosen to lead the main program. In theatrical arts, the French performing company Quidam made their second appearance, following one in 2010. At the behest of Hideki Noda, Tokyo Caravan (the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Shigehiro Ide and others) gave a performance on the main stage. Such artists as Takao Kawaguchi, Yuzo Ishiyama, Switch Souken and barrier-free performance group “SLOW MOVEMENT” gave performances in the streets.
Also seen were creative lineups held at the various cultural and other venues. In Roppongi Hills the lineup included a solo performance by Yasutake Shimaji, a collaboration between Shintaro Oue and Maki Morishita, the Strange Kinoko Dance Company, Sal Vanilla, and as per every year a Bonodori dance event by Ryohei Kondo.
+Roppongi Art Night 2016
http://www.roppongiartnight.com/2016/en/

“World Culture and Sports Forum” held for the first time in Kyoto and Tokyo (Oct. 19 – 22, 2016)
 
An international “Sports and Culture World Forum” was held for the first time this October, hosted by the Japan Sports Agency and the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The forum was held in Kyoto and Tokyo and was geared toward preparing for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games/Paralympic Games, by serving as a venue to discuss how sports, culture and business can contribute to the international community and leave behind both material and immaterial legacies, in coordination with tourism, and to disseminate this information and create international opportunities by kicking-off these events.
The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology spoke at the commencement of the program in Kyoto. Leaders from diverse fields took the podium of the Cultural Forum, debating such topics as promoting a cultural program, archiving techniques and usages, and tradition versus innovation. The forum saw as an event the Ikuko Kawai violin concert at Ninomaru Goten’s kitchen courtyard of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the Tokyo program, leaders of industry and leaders of the athletic community gave keynote speeches, including the presidents of both the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, followed by speakers’ sessions on various topics and cultural discussions. In a symposium focused on art activities by people with disabilities, speeches were given discussing the possibilities of social inclusion through culture and art by artistic director of the Graeae Theater Company, Jenny Sealey and the actress and dancer with a prosthetic leg, Kazuyo Morita. A cultural work was presented at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall by Kyogen artist Mansai Nomura with contemporary artist Hiroshi Sugimura in charge of production and artistic direction, entitled “SAMBASO, Divine Dance.” The forum also held various public-private workshops and a youth program.
Dates/venues
Kyoto: Oct. 19-20, 2016 (ROHM Theater Kyoto, others)
Tokyo: Oct. 20-22, 2016 (Roppongi Hills, others)
+World Culture and Sports Forum
http://wfsc2016.mext.go.jp/en/

KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2016 AUTUMN program announced (Oct. 22 – Nov. 13, 2016)
 
Launched in 2010, KYOTO EXPERIMENT is a performing arts festival that has been held each year in the autumn to present performing arts from Kyoto to the world. In 2016, the festival is being held twice, first in the spring in light of the reopening of the Rohm Theatre Kyoto and then in autumn.
The autumn festival that starts on October 22 has an official program lineup of 12 works. British artist Martin Creed presents the Japan debut of his first dance piece, titled Work No. 1020 (ballet) along with a work exhibition. Indian director Sankar Venkateswaran presents a version of Shogo Ohta’s representative work The Water Station. In his second appearance in Kyoto, Argentinian choreographer Luis Garay presents a new work created in collaboration with Japanese artists during a long residence in Japan. Argentine-born theater director, filmmaker Federico León presents the Japan premiere of his work Las Ideas.
Also on the program is a new production of the play Zoo written by leading Chilean theater artist Manuela Infante and dealing with the issues of post-colonial Chile that premiered at the spring festival of KYOTO EXPERIMENT this year. The new Japanese production is translated and directed by Bangkok-based Japanese director Chiharu Shinoda. Vienna-based Japanese performance artist Michikazu Matsune presents Dance, if you want to enter my country, a work based on an actual incident that occurred at the Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.
Also being performed are Baling by Malaysia-based theater maker Mark Teh, the recent winner of the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award Avidya: No Lights Inn by Niwa Gekidan Penino, and Kinoshita Kabuki presenting Kanjincho for the first time in western Japan.
The concert works created Ryoji Ikeda since 2000 will also be presented in one comprehensive program, and visual (video) artist and director Meiro Koizumi presents an exhibition of his work. As a new program beginning this year, the “Play Park: A festival for children and grown-ups will also join the festival. And, there will be 36 works performed in the concurrent Fringe festival program.
+KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2016 AUTUMN
http://kyoto-ex.jp

Premier of 15th AAF Drama Award’s Grand Prize winning Michiyuki with Motoi Miura as Director (Sept. 9 – 12, 2016)
 
The “AAF Drama Award” has been held by the Aichi Arts Foundation since 2000 with the objective of developing and vitalizing the theatrical arts and for the dissemination of arts and culture originating in Aichi. After undergoing changes at the 15th year mark last year, the organization has taken on accomplished new directors (Chiharu Shibata, Kohei Narumi, Shiratama Hitsujiya, and Motoi Miura) as jurors. Of the 114 works submitted, five moved on to receive nominations in the second jury session. Shuntaro Matsubara’s Michiyuki was selected for Grand Prize, and Village to be lost to a dam by Teruha Fukaya for Special Prize. The grand prize was accompanied by a cash prize of \500,000, and the special prize by \100,000. The nominated pieces can be seen on the Aichi Prefectural Arts Center website (Japanese only). The AAF Drama Award is committed to enabling a production for performances of the winning piece, and performances were given in September of 2016 produced by the Aichi Prefectural Arts Center, with Awards juror Motoi Miura of Chiten as director, Takashi Ito in charge of visual effects and performed by the Chiten company.
+Winner’s profile
Shuntaro Matsubara
Writer, born 1988 in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Pref. Graduated from Kobe University’s Faculty of Economics. Began to take on novel writing after encountering the works of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce, and playwriting after encountering Chiten’s rendition of Downfall of the Egotist Johann Fatzer. Winner of the 15th AAF Drama Award’s Grand Prize in 2015 for Michiyuki. Currently residing in Kyoto.
+Nominated Works
Isuwarinohi by Natsuki Sugimoto
Garbage Collection by Shinichiro Hayashi
“Village to be lost to a dam” by Teruha Fukaya
Heisei Apartment by Yuri Yamada
Michiyuki by Shuntaro Matsubara
+15th AAF Drama Award (Japanese only)
http://www.aac.pref.aichi.jp/syusai/aaf_bosyu16/index.html

“Sound Live Tokyo 2016” held (Sept. 11 – Oct. 1, 2016)
 
Sound Live Tokyo is a festival featuring arts related to “sound” in a broad definition, including music. Begun in 2012 as a joint venture by the Japan Center of the Pacific Basin Arts Communication (PARC) and the Tokyo Culture Creation Project, it has been hosted since 2015 by PARC, every autumn. The festival has taken on various venues throughout Tokyo, and was held for the 5th time for 9 days this year at the SuperDeluxe (Roppongi district, Minato Ward), an international leader in the experimental music scene.
This year’s event gathered 13 groups of artists both domestic and foreign. As the opening act, American composer James Tenney’s testimonies, played back on four speakers, and a piece for four percussionists, Pika-Don, gave their first ever performance in Japan. German ensemble zeitkratzer, in Japan for their first time, gave a collaborative performance with Keiji Haino. Adding Kazakhstani violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, performing a later work by Luigi Nono, the event stayed true to its aim of providing a fresh representation of contemporary music.
Japanese artists performing included the Golden Senior Trio based in the Kansai (western) region of Japan—whose combined age makes them the “oldest” extant Jazz band in the world—performing for the first time in Tokyo, as well as the internationally acclaimed group improvisation project, “Marginal Consort.”
+Sound Live Tokyo 2016
http://www.soundlivetokyo.com/2016/en/index.html
Presenter Topics
Kick-off of the new theatrical arts festival Asia TOPA (Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts) in Melbourne (Jan. - Apr., 2017)
 
This is a comprehensive arts triennale with a focus on contemporary Asian performing arts works. In conjunction with arts organizations located throughout Victoria, Australia, and centered at the state's capital of Melbourne, the event will encompass not only the performing but also the visual arts, music, installations, video, architecture, design and literature. The triennale will be for the first time in 2017, and a multifaceted program will be put together in cooperation with partners and various organizations both domestic and foreign. Primary partners include 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Asialink, Australia Tapestry Workshop, Bluebottle, Castlemaine State Festival, Chamber Made Opera, Melbourne Festival, Monash University Art Museum, Multicultural Arts Victoria, Next Wave Festival, Perth Festival, Sydney Festival, University of Melbourne and the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival.
In the theatrical arts and dance category, Singaporean Daniel Kok will be performing Bunny; Melbourne-based Chinese Australian Eugenia Lim will perform The People's Currency; the Tao Dance Theater and leader Tao Ye will give their performance of 6, which was featured in last year’s Paris Men's Collection and Cry Jailolo by Indonesian choreographer Eko Supriyanto. Three works to be performed at the festival from Japan include Kagero by Hamanaka Kikaku, a documentary work taking the Hisanohama area of Iwaki City, Fukushima as its subject; Takao Kawaguchi's About Kazuo Ohno and Time’s Journey Through a Room by Toshiki Okada.
In addition, the networking event “Asia Producers Platform Camp,” focusing on performing arts in Asia, will be hosted from Feb. 21 - 25.

Festival Outline
The focus of this large-scale performing arts triennial lies in Asia’s contemporary arts, as opposed to classical and traditional arts. It was founded by Stephen Armstrong, creative director of Arts Centre Melbourne in 2017, as a platform for contemporary art in the Asia-Pacific region to converge and interrelate. The various theatrical arts organizations in the state of Victoria, Australia, centered around Melbourne, cooperate with each other to produce this program over the course of four months. Principal partner organizations include Arts Centre Melbourne, Australia Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Chunky Move, Federation Square, Malthouse Theater, Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC), Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC), Museum Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, The Australian Ballet and Victorian College of the Arts.
+Asia TOPA: Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts
https://www.asiatopa.com.au

New York’s international experimental theater festival “Under the Radar Festival” to be held (Jan. 4 - 15, 2017)
 
The Public Theater in New York will once again be the venue this year for the international theater festival introducing the cutting edge performing arts in America. Founder Mark Russell and choreographer/playwright Meiyin Wang currently co-direct the event. Programs include the “main program,” which features experimental works of domestic and foreign performing arts, the “in concert” program featuring works that merge experimental music with the theatrical arts, and the “incoming” program introducing works of up-and-coming directors and choreographers.
This year’s main program will feature 600 HIGHWAYMEN, founded in 2009 and emerging as important figures in the U.S. post-drama theater scene. They will perform The Fever, their newest work, a participatory performance that deals with the borderline between personal responsibility, and group responsibility. Also from the U.S., the event will feature the duo work of Japanese choreographer Saori Tsukada and Nikki Appino with a re-staging of Club Diamond, which was introduced in last year’s “incoming” program. Performer and writer Marga Gomez will present a work depicting the life of her Cuban immigrant comedian/writer father, which probes the Latin American identity.
Attending from overseas will be French director Phillipe Quesne, presenting a work questioning modern notions of society entitled La Mélancolie des Dragons, and German theatrical group Rimini Protokoll presents Top Secret International (State 1), an algorithm-ridden, digitalized, political theatrical piece. Indonesian experimental theater directors Eko Nugroho and Wayang Bocor will present In the Name of Semelah, a work that makes use of techniques such as shadow theater while exploring the emergence of Islam on the island of Java.

Festival Outline
This festival is held in New York at the same time as the APAP arts market and takes the New York Public Theater as its main venue. The festival premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn in 2005 and moved its main venue to The Public Theater the following year and began inviting works from abroad. By 2009, some 52 works from 14 countries were presented. Also on its programs are works produced jointly with such leading internationally acclaimed American artists and companies as SITI Company, Elevator Repair Service and Nature Theater of Oklahoma, among others. The founder of Under the Radar is Mark Russell, long-time director of New York’s PS122 and leader in the New York arts scene who afterward served as artistic director of Portland’s Time-Based Arts Festival (2006-08) and remains one of North America’s important presenters of contemporary performing arts.
+Under The Radar
http://www.undertheradarfestival.com

Festival Danza en la Ciudad contemporary dance festival in Bogota, Colombia (Nov. 2 – 14, 2016)
 
In its ninth year, the contemporary dance Festival Danza en la Ciudad (Festival Dance in the City) was held in venues around the city of Bogota, including not only theater performances but also a variety of outdoor events. Not only does this festival bring together at one time famed dance companies from around Colombia, it also seeks out and invites artists from overseas.
The theme of this year’s festival was “Territories and Connection.” The program include a variety of types of dance that in some way addressed the questions of what territory dance can occupy in the physical, social and political contexts, or what types of dance can be born from cross-national and cross-cultural connections between these territories.
Artists on the program from Colombia included the Bogota-based Dosson Contemporary Dance Company, Javier Vaquero Ollero & Aimar Pérez Galí, the Danza COMÚN company, Company Cortocinesis, Triknia Dance Company and others presenting their works. Invited foreign artists included the Ecuador National Dance Company, Mexico’s Fóramen M Ballet Company, Brazilian choreographer Marcos Abranches, and Hiroaki Umeda from Japan.

Festival Outline
Established in 2008 in Bogota, the capital city of Colombia (South America), this is a festival dedicated to contemporary dance. The festival is produced by the Bogota Mejor Para Todos IDARTES arts and culture organization under the jurisdiction of the City of Bogota, and presents two weeks of performances by companies and artists from Colombia and abroad. As the “Festival Danza en la Ciudad” (Festival Dance in the City) name implies, the performances are held not only in theaters but also take the form of events at a variety of venues around the city of Bogota. In recent years it has attracted attention for its role as a festival that stimulates the South American contemporary dance scene not only in Colombia but also in other countries.
+Festival Danza en la Ciudad
http://www.danzaenlaciudad.gov.co

45th Le Festival d’Automne à Paris (Paris Autumn Festival) (Sept. 7 – Dec. 31, 2016)
 
This comprehensive arts festival is held each autumn in Paris. In its 45th holding this time, artists from not only France but also countries including Brazil, the Congo, Lebanon, Poland, Spain, Syria the United States, as well as Japan will participate. The performances will be held over the four months in Paris and the surrounding areas at a total of 45 venues, including theaters, dance centers, art museums, galleries, universities and churches.
For each year’s festival, feature artists are chosen in each genre, and this year for the theater genre the selected artist is Poland’s remarkable director Krystian Lupa, while from the dance world the feature is on the great master choreographer of American post-modern dance, Lucinda Childs, and from the music world the feature artist is the Basque-Spaniard composer Ramon Lazkano. Lupa, who has appeared in the festival periodically since first being invited in 1998, this time presents theater adaptations of three works of Austrian author Thomas Bernhard. The three works are Woodcutters (which will also have its Japan premiere in late October at Festival/Tokyo), Wittgenstein’s Nephew (a translation of Ritter, Dene, Voss) and Heroes’ Square, which premiered at the National Theatre of Lithuania in Vilnius in 2015.
Works by Lucinda Childs to be performed are Early Works, which was created and premiered at Judson Church in the 1960s, Child’s historical masterpiece Dance that premiered in 1979, Available Light, a work created in 1983 with art by Frank Gehry and music by John Adams, and Three Grand Fugues, created in 2001 on commission from the Maguy Marin Company with choreography by three artists (Maguy, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, and Lucinda Childs).
From Japan, four directors will present their works: Kuro Tanino with Avidya – Ignorance Inn, Toshiki Okada with Time’s Journey Through a Room, Yudai Kamisato with +51 Aviación, San Borja and Oriza Hirata with Citizens of Seoul 1919.

Festival Outline
This comprehensive arts festival is held each autumn in Paris. About a decade after the launch of former long-standing festivals including Festival Sigma of Bordeaux (1965) and the Nancy International Festival, this festival was established in 1972 by Michel Guy, who later became France’s Minister of Culture. When Guy passed away in 1990, Alain Crombecque assumed leadership of the festival. From 2011, Paris Metropolitan Theatre director Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota became the festival’s director.
The managing organization is a non-profit organization that receives funding from the French Ministry of Culture and Communications, the City of Paris, the Ile-de-France administrative region and donations from corporations, individuals and its Friends Organization. The five main focuses of the festival are commissioning artists for new works, tie-ups with foreign organizations, presentation of experimental works, seeking out talented new artists in France, and introducing important works from outside the European cultural sphere. The festival presents artworks from a wide range of genre, including visual (fine) art, theater, dance, music, film and more. Among the Japanese artists who have participated in the festival are Ryoji Ikeda, Oriza Hirata, Hiroaki Umeda, Toshiki Okada, Daisuke Miura, among others. The current artistic director is Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota.
+Festival d’Automne
http://www.festival-automne.com
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