Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Best Japanese Dance I know

This is the AWAODORI which I fell upon in 2004 at a Ginza festival. I was out shopping and was lucky to be there. The dance of fools, as it is sometimes called, involves two groups. The men creep around making the music and the women create the dance moves. On one level it is very simple but within that are complex formations as they make their way down the street. At the time I thought it was the nearest thing to a carnival in Rio. It is boisterous, funky and beautiful. I put it into my 2004 production, 'The Navigator' with costumes and hats borrowed from the Kanagawa Awadori group. The dance is mainly celebrated in August in the city of Tokoshima but the great blogger Q-Taro has led me to Koenji a suburb of Tokyo. Koenji has a 3 day festival at the end of August too. The above photo is from Q-Taro's 2002 visit. And more info on Koenji is here : See you there then!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Final Curtain

And so the work is handed in. And so it is checked and rechecked. And the 12th grade heave sighs of relief. No more Evans and no more Theatre deadlines. Within one portfolio submitted was this photograph by Miki Kotani which captures a moment of rehearsal last autumn. It was taken from the balcony and I like the way all the men are on stage and Raina [ Daisy Brasington ] is holding forth. There is stillness and action. ANd the lines of light define the space. And the reflected light illuminates the prevailing colours. For me it celebrates the most calm and professional show I have directed. One hopes the students' Portfolios convey this and are graded accordingly.