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演劇・ダンス伝統芸能

[Director Kunio Sugihara] Talks about the possibilities of classical performing arts and theater, dance, and the stage

【演出家・杉原邦生さん】古典芸能の可能性と演劇・ダンス・舞台を語る

Kunio Sugihara is a popular director and stage designer who has worked on everything from modern plays to Greek tragedies, Shakespeare, and Kabuki performances. At "What's SAMBASO - The Possibilities of Classical Performing Arts" to be held on July 23rd, we are planning a cross-talk about performing arts, along with a lecture by Yuichi Kinoshita, leader of Kinoshita Kabuki, and a demonstration by Chinojo Shigeyama, the third-generation member of Okura-ryu Kyogenkata. . This time, we will deliver a solo interview at Momijizaka Hall, the venue.

Inspired by my mother's invitation to watch ballet.

--The Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center has celebrated its 60th anniversary. Who comes to Momijizaka Hall?

Sugihara: It's been seven years since I was invited to an event related to school theater called the "Kanagawa Prefecture School Theater Exchange Festival" in September 2016. But it's the first time I've seen a stage like this with no decorations, so it's a refreshing feeling. It's a unique theater with a revolving stage of this size.

--As expected from a professional perspective. Did your interest in performing arts start from an early age?

Sugihara: Ever since I was in elementary school, my mother and I would go to the local Chigasaki Civic Cultural Center to see touring ballet and kabuki performances, as well as musicals by the Shiki Theater Company. I also remember watching Yoko Morishita's ballet performance at the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama. When I was attending a nursery school in Tokyo, whenever there would be a puppet show or children's play, I would make crafts while my mother was preparing dinner and reenact them with my twin brother (lol).

--That's great! It has a wide range of genres, including ballet, kabuki, and puppet theater.

Sugihara: My parents are from a world far away from the arts, but whenever I wanted to see something, they immediately bought me a ticket and took me there. Maybe he wanted to expose them to things they were interested in from an early stage and expand their possibilities.

--Do you still love art?

Sugihara: I liked playing outside, but I was also good at drawing and doing crafts, which I loved, so my grades in art were always good. Even in high school, I was always in a leadership position at school events, and it was fun to work together toward a common goal and create something, such as at school festivals, sports festivals, and choir competitions. The place where you can study such things and where you can have a cultural festival every day is at the stage university! So I went to Kyoto University of Art and Design (now Kyoto University of Arts) where I could study performing arts.

Every day was not a cultural festival! ! My student days were full of learning


Kunio Sugihara being interviewed @ Momijizaka Hall

---I entered the university aiming to be a creator, not an audience member or a performer. How was it actually?

Sugihara: I can't hold the Mainichi Cultural Festival (lol). In many ways, it was different from what I had imagined. Of course, it was more professional. At the time, there were many avant-garde and eccentric professors in the Department of Film and Performing Arts, and their teaching was unique and very stimulating (lol). My stereotypes were shattered and I learned that there are many perspectives and methods of expression.

--If you could name one memorable encounter during your student days, what would it be?

Sugihara: As expected, it was the playwright and director Shogo Ota, who was the department head at the time. ``When you put something created in the rehearsal room on stage, it is exposed to the eyes of an unspecified number of people and becomes socialized.'' Therefore, artists must never forget that their expressions are always being transmitted to society. He was strict yet warm, and taught me about the attitude of a theater artist.

--It really hits home.

Sugihara: Well, I think my range of expression has broadened by being able to learn from other top-notch and respected teachers, such as dancer Setsuko Yamada and playwright/director Tsuyoshi Kawamura.

Discover the charm that can only be found in performing arts


Third-generation Kyogen Noh performer Chinojo Shigeyama stepping on the ``Sanbaso'' on stage

--This summer, Mr. Sugihara will be involved in "What's SAMBASO - The Possibilities of Classical Performing Arts" which will be held on July 23rd here at Momijizaka Hall.

Sugihara: This project is a close-up of the play ``Sanbaso'', which is often performed on auspicious occasions such as the opening of the kokera at the theater and New Year's. By learning about, watching, and thinking about the performance ``Sanban-san,'' I hope that people will enjoy and experience the potential of the classical performing arts that have been cultivated in our country.
Click here for details

7/23 “What’s SAMBASO: The possibilities of classical performing arts” leaflet
7/23 "What's SAMBASO: The Possibilities of Classical Performing Arts" leaflet

--The leaflet also says, ``A deconstructed illustrated guide to the performing arts that they don't teach you at school.''

Sugihara: Art is not just studying! People tend to think that it's difficult to get into, but once you get to know it, it's not at all like that. This time, we will learn about the program through explanations by Yuichi Kinoshita, who I believe gives the most easy-to-understand and interesting lectures in Japan, and then watch a live performance by Chinojo Shigeyama, a modern and energetic performer. Furthermore, I would like to discuss the possibilities of performing classical performing arts as modern performing arts and how to present them, based on my past works and creative experiences. They would never teach you something like this at school (lol)

--It's a luxury to be able to learn directly from three people who are active on the front lines.

Sugihara: I believe that if you want to express something, if you are not proactive about ``knowing'' your range of expression will be limited. For example, I have worked on ``Sanban-san/Sanbaso'' twice so far at Kinoshita Kabuki, which is directed by Kinoshita-kun, but I always start with what I know first. As I watched a number of ``Sanbaso'' plays, including Kyogen, Noh, and Kabuki, and bombarded the knowledgeable Kinoshita with questions (lol), I was filled with a desire to know more. I don't think you can create something new if you don't know about the original performance.

--In order to create something, it is necessary to know.

Sugihara: In this project, I also want to turn “knowing” into entertainment. I want people to know the joy and fun of learning. I would like to convey this message to the young people who will be responsible for the future of the performing arts world. If we don't do this, art will remain a study forever. I want to convey that our country's classical performing arts are so interesting and cool. That's why I feel like I'm directing classical plays.


Kunio Sugihara talks about his thoughts in an interview @ Momijizaka Hall

--This is the young generation, including high school and university students.

Sugihara: I wish going to the theater would be like going to an amusement park or karaoke. For example, when you go out to eat Italian food, do you go to a family restaurant? Want to be a little more luxurious and turn it into a ristorante? Like, do you go to the movie theater when you want to see some entertainment? No, I have a little free time this month, so I'm thinking of going to the theater (lol).

--A little luxurious, enough to stretch your back?

Sugihara: To be honest, performing arts are overwhelmingly luxurious entertainment compared to affordable video streaming services that offer unlimited viewing. That is why first of all, performers and creators must be aware of the charm and possibilities that are unique to the performing arts. I hope that this project will help people realize this again in the theater setting and gain confidence in their ability to express themselves.


Kunio Sugihara talks about his thoughts in an interview @ Momijizaka Hall

Celebrating 60th Anniversary Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center


Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center located on the lush Momijizaka slope

The Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center comes into view as you climb up the lush autumn leaves slope in Nishi Ward, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. As one of the few comprehensive facilities for young people in the country, it has been widely used by prefectural residents from November 1962 to the present day.

The venue for this interview with Mr. Sugihara, as well as the July 23rd event ``What's SAMBASO - The Possibilities of Classical Performing Arts,'' will be the newly renovated Momijizaka Hall. It also has a revolving stage, a small stand, and a temporary flower path, making it perfect for lively performances of theater and traditional performing arts. Please look forward to “Sanban-san”, a performance suitable for the opening of the theater!


“Momijizaka Hall” completed renovation work starting in 2022 (Reiwa 4)

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Kunio Sugihara [Sugihara Kunio]
KUNIO official website https://kunio.me/
Born in Tokyo in 1982, raised in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Director and stage designer, supervised by KUNIO. Completed the Department of Film and Performing Arts at Kyoto University of Art and Design (currently Kyoto University of Arts) and the master's program at the Graduate School of Fine Arts. Since he was enrolled in the department, he has been active mainly in directing and stage design, and in 2004 he established the production performance company ``KUNIO'' as a place to present his own works. At Kinoshita Kabuki, he directed 10 works including ``Yotsuya-kaidan'' (written by Namboku Tsuruya) in May 2006, as well as ``Sanbaso'' and ``Kanjincho.'' From next spring, he will also be a lecturer at COCOON PRODUCTION "Cocoon Actors Studio".

What's SAMBASO - Possibilities of classical performing arts
[Homepage] https://www.pref.kanagawa.jp/docs/yi4/kunio23.html
[Date] July 23, 2023 (Sunday) 14:00 start
*Doors open at 13:30
*Preschool children are not allowed to enter.
*If you are under 29 years old with a ticket, please present your ID on the day of the event.
*Due to production circumstances, there may be a period of time after the performance where you may have to wait to enter.
*Customers using wheelchairs or those with disabilities should apply by phone.
Tel.045-263-4475 [Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center Hall Management Division]
[Venue] Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center Momijizaka Hall
[Price] All seats reserved (tax included)
General 3,500 yen Under 29 1,500 yen (Available only on KUNIO official website )
[Performer] Third generation Sennojo Shigeyama [Shigeyama Sennojo]
Kunio Sugihara [Sugihara Kunio]
Yuichi Kinoshita [Yuichi Kinoshita]
Flute: Ryo Noguchi
Kotsuzumi: Masahiro Sowa, Mitsuhiko Sumikoma, Takashi Mori
Taiko: Dai Kawamura
[Staff] Stage manager: Yukihiko Fujita
Web: Kobayashi Taxi
Advertising art: Takashi Horikawa
Cooperation: Doji Company, Kinoshita Kabuki
Production cooperation: Sayana Nakajima
Production: Hiroko Sakai
Producer: Miho Kobayashi
[Sponsor] Kanagawa Prefecture/KUNIO, Inc.
[Inquiries] Kanagawa Prefecture Youth Center (Hall Management Division)
Tel.045-263-4475 (Reception hours 9:00-17:00)
KUNIO, Inc. info@kunio.me
     

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