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Musicals, Plays, Dance, and more! Experience another world on stage!

It's been almost a month since the start of the New Year and everyone has just about settled back down to their daily lives.
We've put together a big list of performing arts events in Kanagawa for the new year. Professional producers, choreographers, and actors have come together to create complete works of art which, while firmly grounded by their human presence, give a sense of otherworldly delight. Cry, laugh, and get excited! A flood of emotions will move you like never before!

Photo: Shiki Theatre Company Musical "The Phantom of the Opera" Photography: Katsuhiko Hori (From the most recent performance).

Text and Illustrations: Kawako Ishida
Article Supervisor: Arts Commission Yokohama (Yokohama Arts Foundation)

 Shiki Theatre Company "The Phantom of the Opera" Comes to Yokohama!


When we think of "The Phantom of the Opera," we think of... that's right, Shiki Theatre Company! Their famed performance of the play makes them come immediately to mind but many people likely find it difficult to make it all the way to their theater. In that case, we have good news for you! Starting in March at the KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre Hall, Shiki Theatre Company's "Phantom of the Opera" will be on stage!



What is "The Phantom of the Opera"...?


Photography: Ken Arai (From the most recent performance).

Photography: Ken Arai (From the most recent performance).

In a Parisian opera house during the mid-19th century, the background curtain suddenly falls during a rehearsal for the opera "Hannibal." Everyone claims it to be the doing of the "phantom of the opera" and, starting with this one event, a chain of mysterious phenomena begin to take place. What fate lies in store for this "phantom" living in the opera house and the songstress Christine...?

"The Phantom of the Opera" is a heartrending love story based on the novel by the popular French writer Gaston Le Roux (at the time he wrote this work he was up in the ranks with Maurice Leblanc, creator of the famous Arsène Lupin!). From its first performance in London in 1986, the play has gone on to be staged in 164 cities throughout 35 countries worldwide and draw in a total of over 140 million people. There is likely many a person who knows nothing of musicals... but has heard the name "The Phantom of the Opera."



It is the third most-performed play in the country, coming in behind "Lion King" and "Cats."


The first performance by the Shiki Theatre Company was in 1988- the same year as the first Broadway performance! Japan ranks in third place worldwide, behind England and the USA, for total performances of the play. Total performances place the play in third place overall domestically after "Lion King" and "Cats" (as of September 30, 2016). It is, without a doubt, one of the leading musicals in the country.



Photography: Takashi Uehara (From the most recent performance)

Photography: Takashi Uehara (From the most recent performance)



The Parisian opera house has been faithfully reproduced on stage. The proscenium arch frames the stage and magnificent chandeliers hang high overhead. A taste of the dignified Parisian opera house right here in Yokohama- what luxury!
The luxurious and gorgeous garments and stage setting, the overwhelming singing ability of the actors and actresses, and the magnificent music backing it all... this is one performance you absolutely must experience!
Full of excitement and splendor, it is sure to whisk you away to an extraordinary world.



The first long-term performance in Yokohama in four years!


It's been almost four years since the Shiki Theatre Company performed their long-term performance of "Cats" here in Yokohama. Many people likely remember the "Cats Theatre" in Minato Mirai 21, which existed for three years from November 2009 until November 2012. The theater was part of the Yokohama landscape for a long three years and, when the performance ended and the theater was torn down, its absence left us all feeling quite lonely.
However, Yokohama will now receive another long-term performance. It seems that the Shiki Theatre Company has been planning this long-term Yokohama performance for some time. This performance will last until August for a total of five months. Come enjoy this magnificent drama in the KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre Hall.

Gorgeous stage settings, the magnificent performances of the actors and actresses, and the music backing it all are sure to move you and fill your heart with wonder.



■ Shiki Theatre Company Musical "The Phantom of the Opera" Yokohama
Dates: March 25 (Sat) ~ August 13 (Sun), 2017
Location: KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre Hall
http://www.kaat.jp

※ Tickets for the first session (March 25 (Sat) ~ June 30 (Fri)) now on sale! ※ Tickets for the second session (July 1 (Sat) ~ August 13 (Sun)) will go on sale starting March 12th (Sun) at 10:00 AM. (Pre-sales for "Shiki no Kai" members will begin on March 4th).

Ticket Sales: Online Reservations http://www.shiki.jp/tickets/
Also, Shiki Theatre Company Reservation Center: 0120-489444 (10:00 AM ~ 6:00 PM), Ticket-Pia, Ticket Kanagawa, and others.
Official Website:https://www.shiki.jp/theatres/yokohama/



Take a Break!  The Only (Probably) Book Cafe in China Town・Kanteido.


Book Cafe・Kanteido


Kanteido is a little hole-in-the-wall cafe where you can escape the hustle and bustle of China Town and quietly read a book while sipping on coffee or Chinese tea. You can find Journey to the West, Annals of the Three Kingdoms, books on Kung Fu and other historical works and works on divination, as well as quite a few books about... pandas? You can also find many popular Japanese comics in Chinese to use for your language learning endeavors!? The shops China Town-esque, colorful interior is a sight to be seen. They also have an outdoor terrace where smoking is allowed.



Book Cafe・Kanteido

There is hot water available to refill your jasmine or litchi tea and tea cakes and other candies such as smiling panda jelly.。
The manager tells us, "At first I just wanted to draw cute little pandas but, recently, I've come accustomed to drawing them and their expressions have gotten more and more complex. (laughs)."
You can also enjoy beer, pound cake and more. Perhaps because it is located on the third floor, it is a very relaxing hidden space. There are old books and sundries available for purchase at the front of the store as well.



There are many events held and being planned here as well such as pressed flower art classrooms on Thursdays and Saturdays, picture book readings, picture story shows, coloring and manuscript fairs! You can also find books on classical Chinese opera, also known as the "Beijing Opera," as well as books staged in 19th century China, the same era as "The Phantom of the Opera."
You can come here to relax after viewing "The Phantom of the Opera," which is set in 19th century Paris, to round out your day of exotic and foreign experiences.



■BOOKS&CAFE Kanteido
Address: Yokohama Bazaar 3F, 166 Yamashita-cho, Chuo-ku, Yokohama-shi
Business Hours: Sat/Sun/Holidays: 11:00〜19:30, Weekdays: No Set Times
Regular Holiday: Wednesdays
Website: http://kanteido.com


Become Intoxicated By the Bodily Expressions of the Yokohama Dance Collection


©Damien Jalet|Kohei Nawa, VESSEL_2016_ROHM theater_Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue

©Damien Jalet|Kohei Nawa, VESSEL_2016_ROHM theater_Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue



What is the "Yokohama Dance Collection?"


The Yokohama Dance Collection is a dance festival which was started in 1996 to discover and raise new, young choreographers and spread modern dance and has quite the history even amongst the many cultural programs in Yokohama. This year will be its 22nd installment. The festival’s main event is a competition in which the originality of the choreographers is of utmost importance.
Using our bodies to express our joy or sorrow is something that no human needs to be taught. We all have been doing so since we were infants. There are limitless forms of expression in our world today including words, pictures, music and the like. However, one might say that dance is the “beginning of expression.” It is the job of the choreographer to take this bodily form of expression, imbue it with a sense of the times and aesthetic beauty, and turn it into a work of art through which all can experience the dancer’s emotion and values through their movement. The dancers, with their polished techniques, support these choreographers and we can all get a sense of the joy which comes from bodily expression through watching them.
This is a stage performance that everyone simply must experience first-hand.



This year, for the 22nd installment of the event, they will be working together with the Yokohama Museum of Art.


This year, for the 22nd installment of this historic event, they will be working together with the Yokohama Museum of Art. The Museum’s exhibition,「BODY/PLAY/POLITICS」, which was held through December 14th of last year, was a group exhibition that, more than anything, expressed the idea of the “body” in modern art. The exhibition showed the multi-faceted expression of the “body” as shown by the physical body of each individual, their actions within a group, and their spiritual “bodies.” Yokohama Dance Collection has chosen to carry on this same theme and take a deeper look at the role of the “body” as a form of expression through dance.



Catch his new work here first! Junnosuke Tada’s『Choreograph』


『RE/PLAY(DANCE Edit.)』 © Ryuichiro Suzuki

『RE/PLAY(DANCE Edit.)』 © Ryuichiro Suzuki



We would like to give special attention to the work of a man who is also one of the judges for the competition, Mr. Junnosuke Tada (Founder of Tokyo Deathlock and Art Director for Kirari Fujimi), and his work, 『Choreograph』. The performance of this work at Yokohama Dance Collection will be its first worldwide.



Junnosuke Tada

“First of all, we’d like to think about the idea of “choreography” in dance. Dance- to choreograph, be choreographed, choreographed and have been choreographed. Bodies which produce and bodies which receive. Also “Choreography” and “Production.” And finally, we’d like to think about the idea of “choreography” as it pertains to our society. We’ll take a look at the present age, as well as the history leading up to this age, and, with Yokohama as a reference, take a special look at the relationship between the West and Japan and where that relationship is to go from here.”
(From the Official Website)



For our performers, we have chosen Aokid, award-winner from the Yokohama Dance Collection 2016 Competition 1, choreographer, dancer and artist. He will be joined by award-winning choreographer and Tokyo Deathlock member Kaori Ito, greatly influential part of the breakdancing world and「BRONX」 member Gunjo, as well as Naoko Tozawa, champion of the 2016 “Juste Debout Experimental” in France and performer for the opening event of the 2016 Yokohama Dance Collection, “無・音・花 Silent Flower” and the 2017『VESSEL yokohama』.
(From the Official Website)

What’s more, producer Junnosuke Tada will appear on stage as well!
Known as a producer who creates “play-like dances and dance-like plays,” he has created a whole new form of stage expression which breaks the boundaries of traditional performances and opened up a whole new realm of possibility. He is well-known and regarded both domestically and abroad as a highly original producer like no other. We hope you’ll come see what this great producer, who has recently been active in Southeast Asia including Singapore and Cambodia, and his broad, historical viewpoint.



■ Junnosuke Tada’s “Choreograph”
Producer: Junnosuke Tada
Music: Yoshio Otani
Performers: Aokid、Kaori Ito, Gunjo, Naoko Tozawa, Junnosuke Tada

Date and Time: February 16 (Thur) 19:30〜, 17 (Fri) 19:30〜, 18 (Sat) 16:00〜, 19 (Sun) 16:00〜, 2017
※ See here for tickets: http://yokohama-dance-collection.jp/ticket/
Location: Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse 1, 3F Hall
Yokohama Dance Collection 2017 Official Website: http://yokohama-dance-collection.jp


Who am I really!? -- Young Performers Take on Hamlet!


Hamlet


Lazona Kawasaki, the commercial facility close to JR Kawasaki Station, has a relaxed and easily entered multipurpose hall on the fifth floor of the West Plaza known as “Plazasol.” Here, they hold many events including concerts, plays, and many other events for young musicians and producers. This time around, young, new performers, along with members of the New National Theatre, Tokyo, will take the stage for an energetic performance.



2015 Performance - “Macbeth”

2015 Performance - “Macbeth”



One enjoyable aspect of watching the performance of these young actors is being able to see them grow and improve on stage before your eyes. In last year’s performance of “Macbeth,” they made the absolute most of what they were given to work with to perform a novel and powerful rendition of the play which was quite highly regarded.
Their audience grew with each performance and the final performance saw some unable to enter the hall due to the number of people already inside.。

Their performance this time will be another of Shakespeare’s famous plays, “Hamlet,” which showcases his superb eye for human observation which has become representative of renaissance theatrical works.
“Who am I really!?” The main character is always worried about what path to take in life and preoccupied with the question of who he is. These young performers perfectly express this descent into madness on stage with zeal and swiftness. Come experience their zeal as it flows forth from the stage!



■ Lazona Kawasaki Plazasol 10 Year Anniversary Performance - “Hamlet”
Dates: January 25 (Wed) ~ February 1 (Wed), 2017
Location: Lazona Kawasaki Plazasol http://www.plazasol.jp/index.html
Lazona Kawasaki Plaza 5F, 72 - 1 Horikawa-cho, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki-shi ※Approx. 5-minute walk from JR Kawasaki Station
Tickets: Confetti (General Tickets only) http://www.confetti-web.com、 Kawasaki Plazasol Ticket Booth 044-874-8501
Official Website: https://hamlet-plazasol.jimdo.com


 The Only Performance Arts Platform in the Country
“TPAM - Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2017”!


Courtesy of Kick the Machine Films_feverroom

Courtesy of Kick the Machine Films_feverroom



What is TPAM?


TPAM is the country’s only international performing arts platform and consists of three programs, “Performing Programs,” “Exchange Programs for Stage Staff,” and “Public Audition Programs.” Last year’s meeting saw 292 participants from 40 countries and regions around the world as well as 424 from Japan, making it one of the leading performing arts events in the world. Participants are mostly professionals but most of the programs allow the participation of the general public as well. General participants can view the events with a very reasonable entry fee and last year’s events saw 18,773 such individuals come to watch.



A performing program where one can experience performing arts from Asia and all over the world.


The Performing Program includes 13 works and projects through which you can experience the latest trends in performing arts from Asia and the World.
For example, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's "Fever Room" will see its first showing in Japan here at TPAM!
Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul has received the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d'Or award and many other film awards. As one of Thailand’s genius scriptwriters and artists, he has had many works on display in Japan, including “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” and has received much attention from the performing arts world here.
“Fever Room” is Apichatpong’s first ever stage work. This work, which has received praise from all over the world as a completely new style of stage experience which crosses the boundaries of film and stage, will now come to Japan!



General audiences allowed for the Exchange Program and Audition Program.


The “Exchange Program,” held for the purpose of networking and information exchange between performing arts professionals from around the world, is open to the public (excluding certain portions such as business talks and negotiations). The Audition Program “TPAM Fringe,” in which up-and-coming artists are given the chance to receive international appreciation, is also open to the public for viewing. It is always a popular event where fans of the arts are given the chance to discover new talent and works.

There will be many other performances and events during the Meeting as well!
We asked the TPAM staff for their recommendations.



The dance work 『BALABALA』(https://www.tpam.or.jp/2017/?program=balabala), choreographed by Eko Supriyanto (Indonesia), is the third Asian cooperative production by TPAM.
Eko Supriyanto, who has worked as a choreographer and dancer in such mainstream events as shows by Madonna and more, has reinterpreted the traditional dance of the island of Jailolo in Eastern Indonesia in a modern way to perform with five female dancers from the island. It is a vibrant and energetic performance which breaks down the wall of gender and culture. Those ages 18 and under can watch for free!
(TPAM PR - Amamiya)


Those ages 18 and under can watch for free!

Performing arts professionals from around the world all come together in the same place at TPAM, providing many more Japan-first and world-first showings and stage events from popular artists for your viewing pleasure. We hope you’ll come by to check it out!



■ TPAM - International Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2017(TPAM2017/TPAM in Yokohama 2017)
Dates: February 11 (Sat) ~ 19 (Sun), 2017
Location: KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theatre, Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse Number 1, BankART Studio NYK, YCC Yokohama City Creation Center, Zou-No-Hana Terrace, Amazon Club, and other locations throughout Yokohama and Tokyo.
Tickets and pricing vary by event.
Reference Website: https://www.tpam.or.jp/2017/registration
Official Website: https://www.tpam.or.jp/2017/

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