The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Mar. 29, 2021
Japan Topics
The 65th Kishida Drama Award Announces No Winner
 The 65th Kishida Drama Award sponsored by the publisher Hakusuisha held its final judging session on March 12, which concluded with the decision that no winner would be awarded this time. This time there were eight Finalists selected to contest the Kishida Award. As for the decision to name no winner for the 65th award, this is the third time in the Award’s history, following the 11th holding (with an Honorable Mention included) and the 51st holding in 2007.

Udai Iwasaki’s Kimi to nara donna yugure mo kowakunai (literally: With you I fear no dusk) (Stage script)
Ikue Osada’s Guernica (Stage script)
Naotoshi Oda’s Sin and Love (Stage script)
Sugatsu Kanayama’s A-2 Katsudo no keizoku/ Saikai no tame no Koen (literally: Con-tinuation of A (2) activities / Performance for resumption) (Stage script)
Yuichiro Komikado’s Soredemo waraeba (literally: How about laughing all the same) (Stage script)
Yuko Naito’s Hikari sasu Mori (literally: Forest the light shines into) (Stage script)
Shuko Nemoto’s Mottomo Ooinaru Ai-e (literally: Toward the greatest love) (Stage script)
Takuya Yokoyama’s “The last night recipe” (Stage script)

Members of the Selection Committee
Ryo Iwamastu, Toshiki Okada, Keralino Sandorovich, Hideki Noda, Oriza Hirata, Mikuni Yanaihara, Miri Yu
+The Kishida Drama Award (in Japanese)

Japan Digital Theatre Archives (JTDA) and Playtext Digital Archives go online
 As a measure to help improve the revenue structure for arts and culture organizations that have been hit so severely by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Ja-pan sent out a call soliciting participants for its (Japan) Culture & Arts Profitability Enhancement Pro-ject. Since the approval of this large-scale project, archives and platforms have been prepared and gone online one after another. Among these, the Emergency Performing arts Archive + Digital theatre (EPAD) launched by an organizing committee formed by Warehouse TERRADA and the Ja-pan Performing Arts Solidarity Network has not only begun opening online access to information and original contents on its portal site, but has also joined with the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University to launch the Japan Digital Theatre Archives (JTDA) as an information search site for performing arts performance videos. Also, in collaboration with the Japan Playwrights Asso-ciation, preparation of the Playtext Digital Archives and more was completed. The result has been rap-id advances in the archiving of contents related to the performing arts, which until recently had been slow to get underway.

Japan Digital Theatre Archives (JTDA)
Posted online for the roughly 1,300 videos of performances of contemporary theater, dance, tradition-al performing arts, etc., is information including the performance producers, the writers and directors of the works, the performing actors, the dates and venues, etc., as well as synopses of the works, stage photographs and pictures of the performance flyers. An English site has also gone online recent-ly. With some of the works for which reuse rights have been received, it is possible to view 3-minute long excerpt footage. Furthermore, there are also performances that can be viewed at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University with a prior reservation.

Playtext Digital Archives (in Japanese)
This archive has tapes of 550 plays (as of the site opening in Feb. 2021) for access (downloads in pdf format also possible). Access for personal use is free. As a portal site dedicated to making many plays available for viewing enjoyment long into the future and to ensuring that the performances are shown properly, permission can also be received for public showings, with the way to apply and information necessary about outlining the conditions under which the showings will be aired and the contact in-formation for applications are shown clearly on the website.
+Emergency Performing arts Archive and Digital theatre (EPAD) portal site:

Broadcasting Platform “THEATRE for ALL” Begins Broadcasts
 Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there continue to be many cancellations or postponements of performing arts performances and film screenings, along with other restrictions such as those on audience seating capacities. Under these conditions, THEATRE for ALL is a new initiative that provides barrier-free subtitled and other types of broadcasts to make film/video viewing opportunities available to more people. This initiative is part of the Strategic Promotion of Culture and the Arts program of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, known as the “Cultural Arts Profitability Enhancement Project,” and it began broadcasting from February 5, 2021. An important aspect of these broadcasts is their accessibility by a wide range of people, thanks broadcasts using multilingual subtitles, in Japanese, English and other languages, and others using sign language interpretation and audio guides. Plans call for some 30 film/video programs to be broadcast from February into March, as well as some 30 learning program broadcasts.

Among the programs are a popular French writer’s picture book, My hole, His hole, translation into Japanese by Suzuki Matsuo and further translated and directed by Seiji Nozoe; also there are stage and art museum productions of Eraser Mountain and Eraser Forest by Chelfitsch and artist Teppei Kaneuji using the same concept; and a documentary that follows the daily lives of people with double sight and hearing disabilities titled “Living in Deaf-blindness” by movie director and television documentary program director Takashi Nishihara, and more. Also, in addition to such videos for viewing, there are a rich variety of learning programs like online lectures by media creator Masahiko Sato, who creates programs for NHK’s educational program “PythagoraSwitch,” among others. Some of the films/videos are for sale or reservation. For details see our official website.

20th AAF Drama Award Grand Prize goes to Yoshiro Yoda Hatori for Lynch (Drama)
 AAF Drama Award was established in 2000 by the Aichi Arts Foundation as a program aimed at exploring what theater can and should be. Plays are solicited openly with the intention of staging performances of them and five finalists are selected through primary and secondary judging sessions to compete through open judging for the Grand Prize. The open call, held this time under the conditions of the state of emergency enacted under the COVID-19 pandemic, attracted 117 applicants. The final open judging session was held with a designated limit of 50 attendees on January 10, 2021 and was broadcast live over the Aichi Prefectural Art Theater’s YouTube channel. The Grand Prize winner was Yoshiro Yoda Hatori for Lynch (Drama), while the Special Prize went to Moscow Kanu’s It’s not a bad thing that people around the world fall into a crevasse. The works of the Grand Prize winner and the rest of the five finalists are posted on the Aichi Prefectural Art Theater’s official website. A Grand Prize winner commemorative performance will be held at Aichi Prefectural Art Theater in 2022 or after.
+Finalist Works:
It’s not a bad thing that people around the world fall into a crevasse by Moscow Kanu
Rhinoceros Language by Homare Takaya
Polite Life by Kapi Shido
Yamada is Job Hunting by Tadoidai
Lynch (Drama)
by Yoshiro Yoda Hatori
Momoko Shiraga (Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Presided over “Momonga Complex”)
Kohei Narumi (Director, Representative of “Seventh Theater”)
Hitsujiya Shirotama (Director, Playwright, Actor, Artistic Director of Yubiwa Hotel)
Motoi Miura (Director / Representative of “Chiten”)
Miwa Yanagi (Stage Director/Artist)
+The 20th AAF Drama Award (Japanese only)

27th OMS Drama Award Grand Prize goes to Masanori Yamamoto for Semi no Sora no Sora
 The OMS Drama Award,” organized by Osaka Gas, is open to playwrights active in the Kansai region of Japan. Launched in 1994, this award was established to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Ogimachi Museum Square (OMS) (now closed), a facility known as a center for Osaka youth culture, and this year marks its 27th holding. Since its founding the OMS Drama Award has sought not only to encourage the next generation of playwrights in the Kansai region, but also to serve as a platform for established playwrights to present their works, and in this capacity it has sought to be a springboard for playwrights to expand their activities beyond Kansai to the broader national scene. From among the award’s 54 applicants this time, the Grand Prize was given to Masanori Yamamoto for Semi no Sora no Sora, and the Honorable Mention winner was Pinkchiteijin No. 3 for Kanzaki. Masanori Yamamoto serves as the playwright and director for the company Kotorikaigi, and this is his first OMS Grand Prize after twice being the OMS Honorable Mention winner, in 2018 and 2019.

Masanori Yamamoto biography:
Born at Sabae-City in Fukui Pref. in 1982. In 2004, he began theater activities in on the Kyoto small theater scene. In 2007 he founded Kotorikaigi and began activities as a playwright. In 2018, he won the Best Playwright award in the 9th Sengawa Theater Contest. In 2018, he won the Honorable Mention award of the 25th OMS Drama Awards for A, Kakkon no Take, and in 2019 he won the Honorable Mention award of the 26th OMS Drama Awards for Shizuka miracle.
+ Judges:
Makoto Satoh (playwright)
Yumi Suzuki (director)
Norihiko Tsukuda (playwright)
Hideo Tsuchida (playwright)
Miyu Higuchi (playwright)
+The 27th OMS Drama Award (Japanese only)

“Yokohama Dance Collection 2021” Competition Winners Decided
 Yokohama Dance Collection 2021, is a dance platform in Asia dedicated to promoting choreographers of the next generation and the spread of contemporary dance in general. For this year’s competition some 121 applications were received from 12 countries and regions, and following the first stage of judging based on video recordings of performances and written applications, 22 finalists from 4 countries were chosen for the performance judging that were held from February 4 to 7, 2021. As a countermeasure for the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the overseas finalists participated through video recordings of their performances.

In Competition I, the winner of both the Jury Prize and Kinosaki International Arts Center (KIAC) Prize was “PHANTOM MOCKUMENT” by Moto Takahashi, the leader of MWMW (mowee-mowee) and also performs as a member of the group Tokyo Electrock Stairs lead by KENTARO!!. The winner of the French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographer is Shibata Miwa, who since graduating from the Nihon University College of Art is a member of the dance company KUKI. The winner of the studioARCHITANZ Artist Support Prize was the story dance duo “nouses.” And the winner of the Encouragement Prize is Ida Asami, who has been active with the dance company MARIA KONG of Israel. With these results, again this year the competition brought a diverse spectrum of performances by dancers coming from a range of careers and physicality befitting the ideals of this contemporary dance platform. Also, the Outstanding New Artist Prize of Competition II (New Choreographer Division) went to “I’m not a liar.” By Onaya Rion, a dancer who has performed in the works of Fabien Prioville and Kenji Noumi among others.

The winners are as below. For details see the Yokohama Dance Collection website:

Competition I
Jury Prize; Kinosaki International Arts Center (KIAC) Prize:
Takahashi Moto for “PHANTOM MOCKUMENT”
French Embassy Prize for Young Choreographer:
Shibata Miwa for “Oblivion”
studioARCHITANZ Artist Support Prize:
nouses for “nous”
Encouragement Prize:
Ida Asami for “species”
*Applicants: 83 from 12 countries / Finalists: 10 from four countries performing works of up to 20 min.
[Competition I Jury]
Okami Sae (Dance Critic, Associate Professor of Kyoritsu Women’s University)
Kitamura Akiko (Choreographer, Dancer, Associate Professor of Shinshu University)
Kondo Ryohei (Director of CONDORS, Choreographer, Dancer)
Tada Junnosuke (Artistic Director of TOKYO DEATHLOCK)
Hamano Fumio (Senior Editor, Shinshokan Dance Magazine)
Samson Sylvain (Cultural attaché of the French Embassy)
Xavier Person (Director of the French Institute of Japan-Yokohama)
Aymar Crosnier (Director of Studio Olivier Saillard, Artistic advisor)

Competition II New Choreographer Division
Outstanding New Artist Prize
Onaya Rion for “I’m not a liar.”
studioARCHITANZ Artist Support Prize
Kobayashi Moe for “ON AIR”
Encouragement Prize
Takeuchi Haruka for “AM0F01”
Shimada Mikihiro for “tangle”
Best Dancer Prize
Murakami Ikuma for “Unbirth”
*Applicants: 38 / Finalists: 12 performing works of up to 10 min.
[Competition II Jury]
Ito Chieko (Choreographer, Director, Dancer)
Kato Yumina (Director, Steep Slope Studio)
Vivienne Sato (Artist)
Hamano Fumio (Senior Editor, Shinshokan Dance Magazine)
+Yokohama Dance Collection

Lineup announced for Kyoto Experiment international performing arts festival (Feb. 6 – Mar. 28, 2021)
 The program has been announced for the Kyoto Experiment International Performing Arts Festival that runs from February through March of 2021.

This is the first festival to be held since the instatement of the three co-directors Yoko Kawasaki, Yuya Tsukahara and Juliet Reiko Knapp. The program consists of three parts, the “Kansai Studies” program that extends its scope to the entire Kansai region with the aim to redefine the artistic potential of the region and the reality of its local culture. Second is the “Shows” program that includes ten shows created by cutting-edge artists from Japan and abroad. Third is the “Super Knowledge for the Future [SKF]” program that attempts to spark new ideas and dialogues

The “Shows” features the much talked about work Apollon by the Austrian dancer and choreographer Florentina Holzinger, a story about the Apollo and the goddesses that appear in the fa-mous masterwork Apollo by the great 20th-century modern ballet artist George Balan-chine (film presentation). Also featured are the emerging Thai artist Wichaya Artamat’s This Song Father Used to Sing (Three Days in May); a performance titled Freeway Dance by Ayaka Nakama a Japanese dancer who has appeared prominently in works by vari-ous choreographers; an installation and screening titled The Order of Autophagia by Na-tasha Tontey, a recent winner of the Young Artist Award of the Indonesian art fair Art Jog; a music program curated by the internationally active Japanese experimental music artist Seiichi Yamamoto; a performance by Mammalian Diving Reflex led by Canada’s Darren O’Donnell, proponent of Socially Engaged Art known for his participation-type projects held around the world (in his second appear-ance since 2017), and more

The “Super Knowledge for the Future [SKF]” program includes introductions of the game world with its platforms for gaming without leaving the home that precedes the current pandemic-prompted restrictions on going out to meet in public, and other initiatives like the inaugural installment of a talk series that addresses from a broad range of perspectives the question, “What is experimental?”

Due to the presence of programs that will be presented online due to Japan’s second State of Emer-gency declaration, please be sure to check programming details on the festival website.
+KYOTO EXPERIMENT International Performing Arts Festival

Presenter Topics
Gisèle Vienne and Ryuichi Sakamoto named associate artists for the 2021 Holland Festival
It has been announced that the associate artists for the 2021 Holland Festival to be held in June will be the French-Austrian director, choreographer and stage art creator Gisèle Vienne and the Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Known for its proud history over six decades, the Holland Festival has continued to present cutting-edge performing arts not only from the Netherlands and Europe but from around the globe as well. Since 2019, the festival has selected one or two associate artists from whom new works are commis-sioned or recent works performed. Their presence also brings to the festival programs a spotlight on themes related to the respective associate artists. The associate artists for 2019 were choreographer Faustin Linyekula of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and contemporary artist William Ken-tridge of the Republic of South Africa, while the associate artist for 2020 was choreographer Bill T. Jones of the U.S.A. (due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the festival was cancelled and online programs conducted instead).

As an artist whose works are known in Japan through appearances at Festival/Tokyo and Kyoto Experiment, Gisèle Vienne has been known internationally for her works using marionettes or man-nequins with human forms, or dolls wearing masks as main motifs, but in recent years she also uses actors and dancers. In her works, Vienne brings philosophical thought to her human figures and shows how human desires seemingly opposed to the themes of beauty, love and destruction are mutu-ally intertwined. At the coming Festival, she will present her newest work L’Étang (The Pond), which is a joint production with Holland Festival.

The Japanese composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto is known for his diverse musical works drawing on elements of classical music, contemporary and popular music as well as ethnic music. His album async, released in 2017, is a work which paints an audio portrait of the passing of time.

In recent years, Sakamoto has expanded his activities beyond music to include opposition to nuclear energy and support of environmental issues. Currently, Sakamoto is working in collaborating with the multi-disciplinary artist Shiro Takatani on a new work titled Time, an unconventional opera which is also a coproduction with the Holland Festival.

For the 2021 Holland Festival, both of the associate artists will present their newest or recent work.
+Holland Festival

British theatre company Forced Entertainment broadcasts “COMPLETE WORKS: TABLE TOP SHAKESPEARE: AT HOME” presenting all of Shakespeare’s plays staged for the home kitchen
The British theatre company Forced Entertainment has broadcast online for free its new series of plays “COMPLETE WORKS: TABLE TOP SHAKESPEARE: AT HOME”, in which the Shake-speare plays are performed by the company’s actors using the kitchen tables of their own homes. All 36 works have been broadcast on Forced Entertainment’s official website and on its YouTube channel (broadcast ended Dec. 31, 2020).

Since the company’s “COMPLETE WORKS” concept was launched in 2015, until recently the works had been performed in theatres as well as broadcasting video screenings, but as the COVID-19 pandemic caused theatres to be closed and restrictions prevented people from going out to public plac-es, the company turned to online broadcasts. Although the plays are performed by a single actor at their own kitchen table in a very simple form whereby common household items like carbonated drink bottles or detergent bottles are used to represent the characters in the plays, and though each tape is kept with a length of about one hour, the performances are still enough to convey the essence of the Shakespeare plays.