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Kurotani founded the puppet theater company Guinneko Shokai in 1977. In 1994 she studied in the puppet theater DRAK under the artist Petr Matašek and director Josef Krofta, and on her return to Japan started performing solo. Defining her work as a gtheatrical expression of puppet and puppeteer,h she explores the relationship between object and body. Her work is rooted in her strong physical sensitivity to the way women gfeel life in everything, and connect to the memory of ancient times.h Her major works are perhaps Hangetsu (Half Moon), which evolves amidst the images of procreation created by puppet and puppeteer, and Memorabilia, which portrays two women exchanging memories of having been a bird in a previous life. While influenced by Czech puppet theater, Kurotani also sets high store by Japanese kugutsu puppetry rooted in animism. She has performed in France, Switzerland, Czech Republic, South Korea, Thailand, and Laos, has been involved in a Japan-Malaysia contemporary theater coproduction, and has invited Petr Mata?ek to join in a long-term workshop project.

Hangetsu Photo: Tominaga Mitsuaki