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The 60th Avignon Festival begins July 6
 The Avignon Festival, which will be held for the 60th time this year, opens on July 6. The festival will run until the 27th making use of approximately 20 venues within the city, with the courtyard of the 14th-century Palais des Papes as the main site. Since 2004, a different associate (see also Presenter Interview) artist has been chosen each year to serve as artistic director of the program. This year, the role was given to eastern European choreographer Josef Nadj.
Among the main events on the program is a work choreographed by Nadj and titled “Asobu” (asobu is Japanese for “playing”), which is a collaboration between 24 artists including a Russian composer and six Japanese dancers (Ikuyo Kuroda of BATIK, Mineko Saito of idevian crew, Ikko Tamura, Tomoshi Shioya, Yusuke Okuyama, and Pijin Neji of Dairakudakan). The work is an homage to Henri Michaux, who was one of Nadj’s major inspirations. Based on Michaux’s poetry and his visit to Japan, Nadj completed the piece through workshops in Japan with a variety of different artists. Also showing will be newly adapted versions of Peter Brook’s 1975 Tony Award winning “Sizwe Banzi is Dead” by Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona.
As for Japan-related programs, a French version of Oriza Hirata’s Soul Shimin (Seoul Citizens), directed by Frédéric Fisbach (who has been chosen to be the festival’s associate artist for 2007) will be shown, as well as performances each night by calligrapher Hiroyuki Nakajima at the Chapelle Saint-Charles, during which he will create a new piece every night under the title “Lune” (the moon).
+Avignon Festival 2006