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SAWA Noriyuki

Sawa was part of the puppet theater Hitomiza and an art teacher before going to France in 1991 to study puppetry. In 1992 he enrolled at DAMU (Academy of Performance Arts) in Prague, Czech Republic, to study puppetry and now works as an instructor in the same school and as a puppet artist, director, and performer based in Prague and active mainly in Europe. In 2001 Sawa produced the international project A Plague O' Both Your Houses! Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with The Japan Foundation and the Czech puppet theater, Theatre DRAK. His Macbeth — solo silent drama using masks and puppets is unique. In King Lear, he used shadow play techniques, and collaborated with a violinist in his recent series of short works Kousky. His use of the dezukai style of on-stage, exposed puppeteer unifies the work through the puppet, while the puppeteer is also a performer representing many characters of which the puppet is just one. Sawa has achieved worldwide acclaim for blending Czech puppetry techniques with Japanese sensibility. He has won the Franz Kafka Medal, the Prague Children's Theater Festival Grand Prix, the prize for Best Performance for Children in the International Puppet Festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

King Lear Photo: Takahashi Katsumi