This and that at the end of December

After the end of this year’s Festival/Tokyo it took me longer than I thought to “move out” from Ikebukuro, so I have to begin again by apologizing for not updating in a while. F/T absorbed our attention until the last day with very good performances. The winner of the F/T Award in the Emerging Artists Program went to Chong Wang and Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental for “The Warfare of Landmine 2.0“.

At the same time until December 15th an international Ibsen Festival had been going on at the Owlspot theatre, focusing on contemporary interpretations of “A Doll’s House” with artists coming from Belgium, Norway, Romania, Japan and Chile. This was also quite an engaging event, demonstrating once again that creative reworks of Ibsen’s play can emphasize the actuality and the artistic potential of this work.

On December 18th the theatre world around here was taken aback by the sudden announcement about the administration change of Festival/Tokyo. From next year F/T will have a new director (see official announcement here). The news was all the more surprising as it came with no official statement explaining the reason for this change. From its inauguration Festival/Tokyo has been organized six times under the supervision of curator Chiaki Soma, whose efforts and vision have shaped this event into the most eagerly awaited performing arts festival of each year. We all hope and expect that Festival/Tokyo will keep its high standards under the new leadership.

"Ground and Floor" (Chelfitsch) 14-23 December 2013, KAAT

“Ground and Floor” (Chelfitsch)
14-23 December 2013, KAAT

Meanwhile, from December 14th through the 23rd Chelfitsch performed their most recent work Jimen to yuka 『地面と床』(“Ground and Floor”) at the Kanagawa Arts Theatre. They are dealing with the theme of life and death in this work – to be more exact, with the living and the dead – and the work has been praised both for its take on the subject and for the performance style. It is a work appealing directly to the conscience of the people living nowadays, bringing up subjects like the responsibility we have towards the society we live in and verbalizing exactly the kind of guilt feelings and uncertainties that people around here avoid talking about. Although I have seen an open rehearsal of the stage back in April, I failed to see the performance now in December and I really regret it. To the initially announced number of performances two more were added, but tickets were sold out immediately.

I plan to update once more before the end of the year, so I’ll keep my best wishes until then 🙂 Have a great time!


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