Yukio Suzuki in Conversation

18 June 2012 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London

 Yukio Suzuki is a visionary choreographer and dancer whose captivating style of contemporary dance has earned him numerous awards and established him as one of the most talked-about dancers in Japan today.Originally trained in the Japanese performance art butoh at the Asbestos-kan (Asbestos House) in Tokyo, a dance studio founded by Tatsumi Hijikata, Suzuki both choreographs and performs an iconic style of contemporary dance as part of his own company Kingyo. His productions are actualised through his highly trained body with a strong influence from butoh, ballet and theatre, and recently are fused with cutting-edge lighting technology, pushing towards a new realm of contemporary dance.

In conversation with John Ashford, Director of Aerowaves, Suzuki will talk about in an illustrative way his distinguishing career development and achievements. Showcasing some of his astonishing previous works including his most recent performance etude, which was performed as part of the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival as part of the ambitious Creative Coast 2012 project, they will explore how Suzuki has adapted his diverse influences to evolve his contemporary dance spectacle. He will also discuss the current climate of contemporary dance in Japan, and suggest the future it may hold.

This event is free but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please contact event@jpf.org.uk with your name, details and those of any guests.

A Japanese Play Reading in English: Getting Lost

24 November 2011 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House
10-12 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5EH

Japanese contemporary performance has been plunged into a very interesting and exciting phase, breeding many different styles from the younger generation who are quite often free from existing codes. The Japan Foundation once again looks at a leading example of a Japanese contemporary play by award-winning playwright Shiro Maeda, who is believed to have been instrumental in leading performing arts in Japan into a new phase. This play reading of Getting Lost will offer to a UK audience the first chance to experience, in English, this piece of very recent high-calibre Japanese theatre.

The Play
Michiru Suzuki is 30, and struggling: with Tokyo, with her parents, her sister, her ex and current boyfriend, and with her unborn child. The play involves these characters, in situations both real and conceived, exploring contemporary Tokyo and its society. One day, unsure about where she is going in her disorientated life, she turns to her sister who was never born, to consult…
At turns surreal, irreverent, and darkly comic, Maeda explores that contemporary malaise: being ‘lost’ in the metropolis. Running initially in the Mini Theatre at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, the play was received with great appreciation by audiences and critics alike in Japan, being performed a total of 15 times to more than 2100 people.

The Playwright
Born in Tokyo in 1977, writer, director and actor Shiro Maeda has engaged as a director and/or actor in more than 40 productions since forming the theatre company GOTANNDADAN in 1997. Winning the 52nd Kishida Drama Award for his script Isn’t Anyone Alive? (2007), he achieved further success with his highly recognised work Suteru Tabi(2008), which was performed both in Japan and abroad. The playwright’s acclaimed career took a new journey with his production Getting Lost (2010), which offered the audience a striking new perspective.

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.