Here are the artists featured in the performances distributed on STAGE BEYOND BORDERS.
MORIYAMA Kaiji × HIBINO Kodue × KAWASE Kohske
SHUTO Yasuyuki & NAKAMURA Megumi
TAKEMOTO Oritayu VI, TSURUSAWA Seisuke, KIRITAKE Kanjuro III
KATAYAMA Kurouemon X
SPAC – Shizuoka Performing Arts Center
MORIYAMA Kaiji × HIBINO Kodue × KAWASE Kohske
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1973. After his performance at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival, he was described as “One of the most talented dancers at this year’s Fringe.” From there, he began releasing a series of dance productions which he directed, choreographed, and performed. His 2005 performance of KATANA was praised as “a dance of amazing concentration by an amazing dancer” by the New York Times. In 2007, he was invited to La Biennale di Venezia. In 2013, he received the 63rd Geijutsu Sensho National Award for New Artists and two other awards for his The UNIVERSE of MANDALA production as well as being appointed as a Japan Cultural Envoy. His Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland production toured 17 cities in Japan. In 2019, he directed his first opera production, Don Giovanni. In 2020, he was the director, choreographer, and set and costume designer for the New National Ballet of Japan’s production of RYUUGUU – The Turtle Princess. In 2021, he performed in Kaija SAARIAHO’s opera Only the Sound Remains, and he continues his passionate pursuit of artistic expression as both a dancer and a director in a wide range of media.
Costume artist. Born in Shizuoka Prefecture and graduated from the Design Department of the Tokyo University of the Arts. She has showcased her works as a costume artist in a wide range of media and venues including advertising, theater plays, dance performances, ballet productions, films, and television. She is currently the set and costume designer for the Nihongo de Asobo program on NHK Educational TV (E tele). She has also served as the costume designer for numerous stage productions, including those written by NODA Hideki, as well as designing costumes for Circus (New National Theatre, Tokyo) and The Little Prince (Kanagawa Arts Theatre), both directed and choreographed by MORIYAMA Kaiji.
Composer and artist. Born in Kyoto in 1970 and raised in Tokyo. His works incorporate both musical expression as well as the fusion of music and visual elements such as light. In 2010, his signature work, BEARINGS GLOCKEN II, was chosen as a Jury Selection in the Japan Media Arts Festival Art Division. In 2013, he released 3 albums related to his LIVE BONE project.
(c) MITSUO OKAMOTO
SHUTO Yasuyuki & NAKAMURA Megumi
After winning the Professional Level Prize at the Prix de Lausanne international competition in 1988, NAKAMURA Megumi relocated to Europe. She danced at Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo before joining the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), led by Jiří KYLIÁN, where she performed in productions by top international choreographers. After retiring from the NDT, she coached other dancers in KYLIÁN’s choreographies and worked as an instructor at the Opéra national de Paris and other ballet companies and schools worldwide. Since returning to Japan in 2007, NAKAMURA has focused on developing as a choreographer. She has expanded her activities to produce works for The National Ballet of Japan at the New National Theater, Tokyo. NAKAMURA Megumi has been presented with many awards including The Art Encouragement Prize awarded by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon.
SHUTO Yasuyuki joined The Tokyo Ballet when he was fifteen and made his debut as principal dancer at nineteen. As principal, he starred in many productions ranging from classical works to productions by well-known contemporary choreographers including Boléro and M by Maurice BÉJART, and works by Jirí KYLIÁN and John NEUMEIER. After retiring from the troupe in 2004, he appeared in productions by choreographers and directors in Japan and abroad including Swan Lake by Matthew BOURNE and Apocrifu by Sidi Larbi CHERKAOUI. He has also performed his own productions. In recent years, SHUTO has branched out to act in films and television dramas. He has been presented with many awards including the 62nd Art Encouragement Prize awarded by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
AOKI Naoya started to dance at age sixteen and was a member of the Noism Company Niigata from 2004 to 2008. His choreographies include Tagaini_so for the Japan Ballet Association. He was awarded the Grand Prix at the Dance Summit in Japan 2017 and has been presented with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award. AOKI is the founder of the Aoki Naoya Group Work Project. In recent years, he has broadened his perspective on the applications of dance in society organizing lessons at elementary schools and public workshops at community centers.
TAKEMOTO Oritayu VI, TSURUSAWA Seisuke, KIRITAKE Kanjuro III
TAKEMOTO Oritayu VI
Joruri voice artist for the Bunraku-za troupe of Ningyo Joruri puppet theatre. Born in 1975 in Osaka. He comes from a family of Bunraku performers, but although he himself is a narrator, his family’s tradition is Bunraku shamisen. His grandfather was the noted Bunraku shamisen player, TSURUSAWA Dohachi II, whose adopted son is TSURUSAWA Seiji, recognized as a Living National Treasure and an active member of Bunraku-za today. In addition to his uncle Seiji, other members of his family are also Bunraku shamisen players. His great-uncle was Living National Treasure TSURUSAWA Seiroku IV and his younger brother is TSURUSAWA Seiki. He became apprenticed to Bunraku narrator TOYOTAKE Sakitayu (now a Living National Treasure) in 1983 and took the name TOYOTAKE Sakihodayu. His first appearance on stage was in 1986 in the small hall of the National Bunraku Theatre and in 2018, he took the name of TAKEMOTO Oritayu VI. He is active at home and abroad. In addition to the regular performances of Bunraku at the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka and the National Theatre in Tokyo, he has also participated in overseas tours. To create new Bunraku fans and popularize Bunraku with children, he has been a part of a wide range of activities in a variety of genres including regular appearances on the children’s program “Nihongo de Asobo (Fun with Japanese)” on NHK’s education channel. He has won multiple awards including the Sakuya Konohana Award in 2011, the Matsuo Performing Arts New Artist Prize in 2013, the Osaka Cultural Festival Award Grand Prix in 2013, the Kansai Genki Cultural Category Award New Power Prize in 2018, and the National Theatre Bunraku Award Bunraku Outstanding Performance Prize in 2019.
Shamisen player for the Bunraku-za troupe of Ningyo Joruri puppet theatre. Born in Osaka in 1952. He became apprenticed to Bunraku shamisen player TSURUSAWA Dohachi II in 1973. In the following year 1974, he assumed his current name and made his debut at the Asahi-za Theatre in Osaka. Following the death of his teacher Dohachi II in 1981, he began training under his teacher’s adoptive son, TSURUSAWA Seiji from 1982. In addition to the regular performances of Bunraku at the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka and the National Theatre in Tokyo, he has also participated in tours of Bunraku outside Japan as well as working to popularize Bunraku by such things as appearing in NHK programs introducing the traditional performing arts. He has composed the music for many Bunraku plays, both composing the shamisen and vocal music for plays from Bunraku’s history where the text has been preserved, but the original music has been lost and composing music for totally new plays. He has won multiple awards including the Osaka Cultural Festival Award Encouragement Prize in 1987, the Matsuo Performing Arts New Artist Prize in 1994, the National Theatre Bunraku Award Bunraku Grand Prize in 1999, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Award New Artists Prize and the Osaka Performing Arts Award Encouragement Prize in 2002, the National Theatre Bunraku Award Bunraku Special Prize in 2013, the Osaka City Citizen Award in 2016, the Japan Art Academy Prize and Imperial Prize in 2018, and the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2020.
KIRITAKE Kanjuro III
Puppeteer for the Bunraku-za troupe of Ningyo Joruri puppet theatre. Born in Osaka in 1953. His father was puppeteer KIRITAKE Kanjuro II (d. 1986), who was designated a Living National Treasure. In 1967, he entered the training program sponsored by the Bunraku Kyokai (Bunraku Association) as a puppeteer. In 1968, the following year, he became a student of YOSHIDA Minosuke III, a Living National Treasure famous for his performances of female roles and took the name of YOSHIDA Minotaro. He made his debut in 1968 at the Osaka Mainichi Hall. In 2003, he succeeded to his father’s name to become KIRITAKE Kanjuro III. Combining the skills he learned from his father and those of his teacher, he performs both male and female roles. In addition to the regular performances of Bunraku at the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka and the National Theatre in Tokyo, he has also participated in many overseas tours of Bunraku. He has won multiple awards including the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Award in 2008, the Medal with Purple Ribbon, the Japan Art Academy Prize in 2010, the Osaka Cultural Award in 2012, the Mainichi Art Award in 2016, and the Pola Traditional Performing Arts Award Outstanding Performing Prize in 2018.
Kyogen "Kirokuda " NOMURA Mansai
Izumi school Kyogen actor. Born in Tokyo in 1966, he studied under his grandfather, the late NOMURA Manzo VI and his father, NOMURA Mansaku II, both Living National Treasures. He is a member of the group of Kyogen actors that together have been designated Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties. He established a series of Kyogen recitals called “Kyogen Gozaru no Za” to present classical Kyogen plays to modern audiences. He has appeared in many performances of Noh and Kyogen both in Japan and abroad and has worked to popularize Kyogen. He has also acted in contemporary dramas, movies and TV dramas, and has directed and appeared in modern stage works that make use of traditional performance techniques. These stage productions include “Atsushi: Sangetsuki, Meijinden (Nakajima Atsushi’s Sangetsuki and Meijinden),” KAWAI Shoichiro’s “Kuni Nusubito” (based on Shakespeare’s “Richard III”) and “Shigosen no Matsuri (Requiem on the Great Meridian) ,” KINOSHITA Junji’s dramatization of “The Tales of the Heike” using a wide variety of contemporary and traditional performers. He has also made Kyogen well known among children with his appearances in the children’s program “Nihongo de Asobo (Fun with Japanese) ” on NHK’s education channel. Whatever the genre he is appearing in, his background in the traditional performing arts allows him to make a unique contribution. At the same time, through all his activities, he is thinking of what Kyogen should be today. In 1994 he travelled to the UK through the Artist Overseas Training Program under the Agency for Cultural Affairs. He has won multiple awards including the New Artist Award (1999) and the Outstanding Performance Prize (2018) in the Annual Arts Festival sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Award New Artists Prize, the Asahi Performing Arts Awards, the Kinokuniya Theatre Award, the Mainichi Arts Award Senda Koreya Prize, and the Grand Prize for Best Play of the Yomiuri Theatre Prize. He is the Artistic Director of the Setagaya Public Theatre.
Noh "Tatsuta" KATAYAMA Kurouemon X
KATAYAMA Kurouemon X
Born in Kyoto in 1964, KATAYAMA Kurouemon X is a shite (main actor) in the Kanze school of Noh. His father was Noh actor KATAYAMA Yusetsu (d. 2015), who performed for most of his career as KATAYAMA Kurouemon IX, but his family is also closely associated with the distinctive Kyomai dance style, the classical Japanese dance of the Gion geisha district in Kyoto which has been strongly influenced by Noh. His grandmother was INOUE Yachiyo IV, who was a “Living National Treasure” and the fourth head of the Inoue school of Kyomai, and his elder sister is the fifth head, INOUE Yachiyo V (also a Living National Treasure). He studied Noh under his father and KANZE Tetsunojo VIII. He leads the regularly scheduled Katayama Noh Program performances. He performs frequently all over Japan and also in tours of Noh abroad to Europe and the United States. He is also interested in promoting Noh with younger generations through such activities as giving Noh lessons in school classrooms, the creation of picture books based on the stories of classical Noh plays and producing performances of Noh through CG. He assumed the name Kurouemon X in 2011. He is a member of the group of Noh actors that together have been designated Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties.
He has received numerous prizes including the Kyoto Prefecture Cultural Prize Encouragement Award in 1997, the Kyoto City Best Young Artist Award in 2003, the New Artist Award in the Annual Arts Festival sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2004, the Kyoto Prefecture Cultural Prize for Artistic Achievement in 2013, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Award New Artists Prize in 2015 and the Hosei University Kanze Hisao Memorial Noh Award in 2017. He is the chairman of the Kyoto Kanze Association and director of the Association to Preserve Katayama Nohgaku and Kyomai.
(c) Satoru Seki
KURODA Ikuyo started taking ballet lessons at the age of 6, and in 1997 went to London to study contemporary dance at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Then in 2002, after winning the National Council Prize at the Yokohama Platform of Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (formerly, The Bagnolet International Competition) in February, her all-women BATIK troupe set up as a professional dance company in April the same year with a focus on the choreography of KURODA Ikuyo. As a company rooted in ballet techniques, BATIK is firmly committed to the aspect of dance among the diversifying expressions in contemporary dance.
KURODA’s radical and dynamic choreography, which pushes the body to its utmost limits, connects with genuine impulses in dance and is supported across the genres. The main works by BATIK are SIDE B (2002), SHOKU (2004), Flowers Flow, Time Congeals (2004, reworked in 2009), Last Pie (2005), Pendanteve (2007), B…blue (2009), OTARUDORI (2012), Meeting-Melting (2014), and Mi vida con la ola (My Life with the Wave) in 2015. In addition to works created for members of the company, BATIK also worked with stage actors and spoken language for the performances of Chain and Arrow in 2009 and Ray of Light, Shards of Mirror in 2010.
BATIK frequently performs at overseas festivals including Dance Umbrella, the Venice Biennale, the Expo Zaragoza in Spain, and the Singapore International Festival of Arts.
(c) Masami Hioki
SPAC – Shizuoka Performing Arts Center
SPAC was founded in 1995 by the Shizuoka prefectural government and commenced its full-fledged activities in 1997 under the direction of SUZUKI Tadashi, its first General Artistic Director. As a pioneer of publicly funded performing-arts organizations in Japan, SPAC retains its own staff of actors, technical and production staff, who are based at its own venues and facilities. The mission of SPAC is not only to create original pieces, but also to invite progressive artistic companies and creators to Shizuoka and to develop human resources seeking expression through the performing arts. Since April 2007, when he was appointed as the General Artistic Director, MIYAGI Satoshi has led SPAC in a buoyant new phase of development and expansion.
Photo by Aya Tarumi
Since 2002, UMEDA Hiroaki's choreography has been invited around the world including Chaillot National Theater in Paris, with performances in over 150 cities in 40 countries. He was commissioned from and choreographed for festivals and companies such as GötenborgsOperans Danskompani and L.A Dance Project. His work goes beyond dance and choreography, encompassing sound, video and lighting design. In recent years, he has also produced installations focusing on physical sensation. His installations have been presented in 21_21 DESIGH SIGHT, NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] and many other international festivals around the world.
He was chosen as the official choreographer for Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse No.1, to begin work from April 2022.
(c) Elsa Okazaki
WATANABE Hisashi, dancer and circus artist, started juggling, handstand, and contortion through self-study at the age of 20. With the mixed style, he has been working beyond the frame of dance and circus. WATANABE performed in more than 15 countries, being well appreciated around the world for his animal-like physicality, highly skilled movement, and unique philosophy. He also teaches handstand and stretching online, conveying the fun of the body to the people who are not familiar with dance and circus.
Born in Toyama Pref. in 1976. TANINO is leader of the theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino(Theatre of the Garden Penino) and serves as its representative, playwright and director. While amedical student, he formed the company in 2000. TANINO’s recent works include Chekhov?! (2011),The Room, Nobody knows (2012), Box in the Big Trunk (2013), Tanino to Dwarf-tachi ni yoruKantor ni Sasageru Homage (2015), The Dark Master (2003, 2006, 2016) and others. TANINO’s playAvidya—The Dark Inn that premiered in 2015 was the winner of the 60th Kishida Kunio DramaAward. He has received many awards, including Cultural Affairs Agency Arts Festival ExcellenceAward in 2016 and Toyama Prize in Arts and Culture in 2019.
(c) Kikuko Usuyama
Born in Yokohama in 1973. Playwright / Director. He formed the theater company chelfitsch in 1997. Since then he has written and directed all of the company's productions, practicing a distinctive methodology for creating plays, and has come to be known for his use of hyper-colloquial Japanese and unique choreography. In 2005, his play “Five Days in March” won the prestigious 49th Kishida Kunio Drama Award. He participated in Toyota Choreography Award 2005 with “Air Conditioner (Cooler)” (2005), garnering much attention. His collection of short stories titled "The End of the Special Time We Were Allowed" was published in February 2007 and awarded the Oe Kenzaburo Prize. He has been on the judging panel for the Kishida Kunio Drama Award since 2012. In 2020, he won the 27th Yomiuri Theater Awards Selection Committee Special Prize with his Thai artists-collaboration piece "Pratthana - A Portrait of Possession," which is an adaptation of a novel by Thai author Uthis Haemamool.
Born in 1974. An actor/playwright/stage director, IWAI stayed at home as “Hikikomori” from age 16 to 20. He formed the theatrical company hi-bye in 2003, and in 2007 joined the producing department of Seinen-Dan. Many of his works are gritty but laughable comedies based on Iwai’s own personal experiences. Recently he collects stories from people in normal lives and made plays such as “A Certain Woman”, “The men” and “The Husbund and Wife”. IWAI has worked increasingly as a director, actor, novelist and scenario writer. He was awarded for Kuniko Mukoda Award in 2011 (NHKBS TV drama) and Kunio Kishida Award in 2012 (A Certain Woman). “Hikky Cancun Tornado” was performed in Seoul at the performing arts market PAMS in Oct. 2011. “Hikky Sotonidetemitano” was directed by Park Geunhyeong at DOOSAN ART CENTER and “The Hand” was directed by I Kipm in 2015.
Link: Performing Arts Network Japan “Artist Interview”
For more information please visit: http://hi-bye.net/english
Photo by Mizuki SATO
Playwright, director and novelist. Born 1988 in Osaka, raised in Fukuoka, Japan. She studied theater at J.F. Oberlin University. ICHIHARA Satoko has led the theater company Q since 2011.She writes and directs the plays that deal with human behavior, the physiology of the body, and the unease surrounding these themes, using her unique sense of language and physical sensitivity. In 2011, she received the Aichi Arts Foundation Drama Award with the play “Insects”. In 2017, she was nominated for the ﬁnalist of 61st Kishida Kunio Drama Award for “Favonia’s Fruitless Fable”. In 2019, she published her first collection of stories, Mamito no tenshi (Mamito’s Angel). Her latest work, The Bacchae−Holstein Milk Cows, based on a Greek tragedy, was premiered at Aichi Triennale 2019 and won the 64st Kishida Kunio Drama Award . She is a Junior Fellow of The Saison Foundation(2020-2021).
For more information please visit: http://qqq-qqq-qqq.com/
Photo by FUKUNAGA Kazuo
Dumb Type is a group composed of artists from various backgrounds including visual arts, video, computer programming, music, and dance. Since being founded in 1984, it has continued to explore the possibilities of collective collaboration through an array of distinctive projects. Without a designated director, the group’s creative practice is based on flat, fluid, non-hierarchic collaborations in which participating members change according to each project. The group’s multimedia art that transcends all forms of expression and is not limited to established genres of art, drama, and dance has been widely introduced both in Japan and overseas. Their large-scale solo exhibition “DUMB TYPE | ACTIONS + REFLECTIONS” was presented at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (France) from January 20 to May 14, 2018, followed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo from November 16, 2019 to February 16, 2020.
In 2022 the collective will be the Japanese representative at the 59th Venice Biennale international art exhibition in Italy.