Japan Society swings into the new year with two nights of its upcoming 15th Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia showcase from Jan. 11-12. This year's program features four North American premieres.
Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has introduced more than 600 of Japan’s finest performing arts to an extensive American audience. The program also commissions new works to non-Japanese artists, produces national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and distributes educational programs. Originally America's leading platform for the introduction of Japanese choreographers and companies, the Dance Showcase has expanded to include artists and works of international acclaim from the broader East Asian region.
From Tokyo comes the U.S. premiere of post-post-post butoh Misshitsu: Secret Honey Room – Duo Version, created and performed collaboratively by Makotocluv founder Makoto Enda and former Dairakudakan dancer Kumotaro Mukai, following a world premiere at Setagaya Public Theatre/Theatre Tram in Tokyo in August 2012. Formed in 2001, Makotocluv appeared at Japan Society in 2008 and was hailed by the New York Times as “wonderfully fluent in the language of the theater.” Misshitsu: Secret Honey Room marks Mukai and Enda’s first collaboration in 15 years.
Also from Tokyo is Send it, Mr. Monster, by award-winning choreographer and singer KENTARO!!, who leads his group TOKYO ELECTROCK STAIRS in a hip-hop dance set to Japanese pop and serenade songs – an unusual, yet organic, pairing. First premiered in 2011, the group suggests the unsettled feeling of young generations through the portrayal of common daily occurrences. One of the most sought-after young companies, TOKYO ELECTROCK STAIRS is scheduled to present three new works in 2013.
Hailing from Kyoto, choreographer Kosei Sakamoto’s new work HAIGAFURU~Ash is falling, created in contemplation of Japan’s nuclear disaster during his residency with Finnish dancers in Helsinki, is performed for the first time by members of his company Monochrome Circus. HAIGAFURU~Ash is falling was originally created as a part of FIN-JPN Contemporary Dance and Residency Exchange and Co-production Program, and had its world premiere at Zodiak – Center for New Dance in Helsinki in April, 2012.
From Taipei, Taiwan comes Seventh Sense. Choreographed by Chieh-hua Hsieh and performed by his company Anarchy Dance Theatre, it brings astonishing human body movements set within a high-tech, real-time interactive space. Seventh Sense had its world premiere in Taipei in November 2011, and Hsieh’s works depict a strong structure, meaningful inspiration and creative way of playing with time, space and energy. Seventh Sense is among a pair of his “New Media and Techno Performing Arts Collaborative Creation Project” commissions by the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan.
The 15th Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia will be held Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. (followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception) and Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street (between First and Second Avenues) Tickets are $28/$25 Japan Society members. For more information, click here.
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