新型コロナウイルス 新型コロナウイルス感染症に関連する、文化イベント情報 Click here for the latest information


Director Tadashi Suzuki's Words - Record of SCOT's "Trojan Woman" After Talk

演出家 鈴木忠志の言葉 ー SCOT『トロイアの女』アフタートークの記録

From 2.7 (Sat.) to 2.15 (Sun.), "Trojan Woman" was performed again at TPAM2015, an international performing arts meeting held in Yokohama. Under the direction of world-famous director Tadashi Suzuki, the theater company “SCOT”, which is based in Toga Village, Toyama Prefecture, has revived this work with a new production for the first time in 25 years. appealed. After the performance, a talk was held with Mr. Masayuki Nomura, the program director.

Interviewer: Masayuki Nomura Cooperation: TPAM

Darkness of modern society

――“The Trojan Woman” was performed again for the first time in 25 years at the “SCOT Summer Season 2014 & 1st Toga Asian Art Festival” held in Toga Village, Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture last summer. When I saw it in Toga, I was struck by the fact that even 40 years after its premiere in 1974, the work continues to raise questions about the times. , It was more impressive that it seemed to carry a big darkness behind the stage.

SUZUKI Digital civilization has connected the world quickly with networks, so it seems to brighten the world, but on the other hand, it has created a darkness in the human heart. As is the case with the Islamic State, in recent murders in Japan, it seems that the desires and instincts that modern people thought they had overcome suddenly and absurdly revived.

This "Trojan Woman" is not the war you think it is. Here is depicted the desire to completely annihilate one's opposites and enemies. There is no dialogue or negotiation with the other party, and you want to extinguish the existence itself.

Even the president of the United States says he will destroy Islamic State. President Bush used the term crusaders during the Iraq War and even brought up the gods of the Old Testament to justify their actions.

The leaders of the Islamic State also say that they are replicating the caliphate, but somehow religion itself enters the political scene and serves as a support to justify their actions. Religion as a political use comes to the fore. This "Trojan Woman" was written about war and religion by a person 2,000 years ago, and I think it's amazing how it really reflects the problems of today.

A man named Euripides, a Greek, denounces the inhumane conduct of his army, the inhumane act of annihilating all who oppose it. He also writes that religion does not save mankind. Moreover, I admire the fact that the main character is the queen of Troy, which was destroyed by Greece. I really feel that humans and art are not progressing.

The minds of modern people who have forgotten the people who were troubled by these things 2,000 years ago, and who are swayed by computers and economic prosperity, are truly in darkness.

――Certainly, after last summer's performance in Toga, Tokyo's Kichijoji Theater performance at the end of last year, and this time's TPAM performance, the world situation is getting closer to the work. I feel that the message I am carrying is becoming more and more vivid.

Neither Suzuki 's Greek tragedy nor Chekhov's murder scenes appear on the actual stage. Japan doesn't even report recent news about corpses. That's why when I happen to see the actions of Islamic countries, I feel very cruel about the actions of those people. But then, if you say that flying drones like the US military and pushing buttons to kill people is cruel, that's not the case. From the point of view of those killed, I think the situation is even more cruel. The Islamic State guy is outrageous, but America is dropping atomic bombs and killing tens of thousands of civilians. So I don't really regret it.

Anyway, I created this stage because I thought it was time to clearly appeal how war and religion can drive people crazy.

"The Trojan Woman" KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater Photo: Hideto Maezawa
"Trojan Woman" KAAT Kanagawa Arts Theater Photo: Hideto Maezawa

What is true internationalization?

――In 1976, you led Waseda Shogekijo and moved to Toga Village, where you founded SCOT. Since then, Toga Village has become a venue for international activities, including Japan's first international theater festival, the Toga Festival '82. Mr. Suzuki, could you tell us why you moved to Toga Village?

SuzukiJapan is internationalized economically, but the places that create art, or the creators, are not internationalized. I don't think there is an established system for managing a place where people from different countries can work together for long hours. What Japan needs is not international exchange, but the creation of an internationalized place, but the Japanese society's sense of values prioritizing economic efficiency and the bureaucratic management system stand in the way of creating such a place. Art creation is useless if you can't use your time freely and luxuriously, but society is no longer valuing that kind of thing. Especially in theatrical performances, good works can be produced because live people get excited in a group.

The main reason for moving the theater company's creative activities to Toga Village was for that reason. Moreover, the city is not suitable for collaborative work with foreigners, and it is impossible to concentrate deeply. Good ideas can come to you out of the blue. If you don't have an environment where everyone can get together and practice right away, it's impossible to create a high-level work.

――The idea of treating the city as a market and having a place of creation in a place away from it made a lot of sense.

SuzukiThe fish and vegetables we eat are not made in Tokyo, they are sent directly from the farm. Even the land is ridiculously expensive, so no one plows the fields. It's not good to plant radishes.

――To have a place where high-quality creation can be done. And the place is not just an "international exchange", but an "internationalized place" where people from various countries work together. Toga certainly does that. I think it's very important.

SUZUKIThe Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's animation and movies are different, but at least it's not about making money, it's an intellectual work that thinks about what Japan's future should be like, what kind of life we should aim for, and its value. A spiritual enterprise that seeks to create views cannot be established in the big cities of Japan. It would be better to go back to the old days. Both Shinran and Dogen were active in Hokuriku, and Basho and Saigyo removed the center of power and economics, so they were able to do a good job, the tradition of Japanese spiritual culture. I think it's time for Japan to reconsider.

――I moved to Okinawa last year, and the way I see Japan and neighboring countries has changed compared to when I was living in Tokyo. I think I have more time to think about it.

SUZUKI In the future, politicians, business people, and artists will have to become equals, and we will have to assert to other countries what kind of Japan we should be, or that this is where Japan's uniqueness lies. I have to say that we can answer such a common global problem. What is important at this time is that the artist comes to the fore. Mozart is German/Austrian, Chekhov is Russian, and we don't actually know the politicians of their time. But they are the property of mankind. So is this Euripides.

Politicians and scientists have begun to cooperate on environmental issues as a common issue for all humankind, but we theater people also have a mental aspect to identify issues facing humanity in the future and propose that we should work together internationally. I hope that TPAM's activities will be a milestone in creating a place in Japan where people can work hard to find solutions, and whether they can produce human resources on a global scale.

SCOT's base in Toga Village consists of six theaters, rehearsal halls, lodgings, and other facilities, attracting theater people from all over the world.

SCOT's base in Toga Village consists of six theaters, rehearsal halls, lodgings, and other facilities, attracting theater people from all over the world.

Suzuki Training Method

――On the stage of SCOT, actors who have been trained with the “Suzuki Training Method”, an actor training method devised by Mr. Suzuki, will appear. Even in "The Trojan Woman," the actors' performances with strong energy and physical techniques always created a sense of tension on the stage, which became the basis for conveying violence and cruelty. Could you tell us about the "Suzuki Training Method"?

Suzuki : Technique is important for artists, but the most important thing is whether or not they have a message for others. Because there is a message, technical training is necessary for that, and it is this message that Japanese theater people are weak. So inevitably the technology is also low. For example, in the days of Euripides, he must have conveyed his message in his own voice to an audience of 10,000 people. For that reason, it is natural for actors to train their voice and body, how to speak words, and these technical trainings. It won't work. I also wanted to spread my message to the world, so I came up with the Suzuki-style stage performance training method, not simply inventing a training technique for theater in general. Well, critically speaking, many Japanese theater people are doing theater as a hobby, so it may be said that they are not doing theater with a social mission.

Potential of “Asia”

――This time, TPAM has a “Focus on Asia”, but if you look at Japan from that perspective, it can be said that it is unique that it has been transmitting culture to Europe and the United States even before globalization progressed. . The reason why I really wanted to perform SCOT at TPAM this time is that Mr. Suzuki and other people have created and disseminated to the world contemporary Japanese performing arts - original performing arts that are different from traditional performing arts. It was also because I wanted to take up that matter properly. Lastly, could you give us your thoughts on Asia?

SuzukiThere are many countries in Asia, each of which has excellent cultural heritage from the past. It's entertainment for fellow humans. In this age of globalization, it would be like enjoying antique junk. Art has the power to persuade people with different values that it is important. Of course, junk can become a treasure for everyone depending on how it is used, but I don't think Asians have found a way to do so yet. Art is something that builds bridges with others who do not share the same values, establishes dialogue, and encourages joint steps toward new possibilities. It is conceived as It's not like you're trailing the tail of a single community or nationalism.

I think that the legacy of the Western past, whether it be Shakespeare or Greek tragedy, is junk. When put into a relationship, it is often useful for the future of mankind. As for the Asian junk, it's still unclear how to make it shine. I think Asians have come to realize that there is no point in pretending to be Western, and there is no point in bragging about old things like politicians. In any case, through trial and error, I strongly believe that theater is a job that requires a lot of energy, something other than Ganbaru.

Related articles