At Open Air Theatre “UDO”, Shizuoka Performing Arts Park in 2004
© HIOKI Masami
|Genre / City||Theatre / Shizuoka|
|Dates||3 May at 18:50, 4 May at 18:50, 5 May at 18:50, 6 May at 18:50|
|Venue||At Momijiyama Garden Square, Sumpujo Park|
|Language||In Japanese with English subtitles|
|Directed by||MIYAGI Satoshi|
|Production||SPAC-Shizuoka Performing Arts Center|
“Mahabharata – Nalacharitam” is renowned as a beautiful romance story blossoming like a flower on a battlefield among the many ancient Indian epics better known for their fierce rivalries.
In his unique, acclaimed adaptation of this tale in a production that earned standing ovations and splendid reviews at the prestigious Festival d’Avignon in southern France in 2014, MIYAGI Satoshi, SPAC’s general artistic director, reimagined it set amid the great flourishing of the arts in the Heian Period in Japan (794–1185). Then, drawing on the wonderful “emakimono” horizontal picture-scroll narratives of the 11th–16th centuries, he sensationally showed gods and humans interacting in a moving panorama around the audience, with live music and speakers voicing the actors’ lines in a festive blend of three elements.
Now this production is set to be one of the highlights of World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2018, when it’s again presented in the city-center Sumpujo Park where it famously played to sell-out audiences three years ago. After that, the show moves to Paris, where it will be staged in autumn at the La Villette Theater as part of a major Japan Foundation arts event titled Japonismes 2018.
Born in Tokyo in 1959, MIIYAGI is the General Artistic Director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC). After studying aesthetics at Tokyo University under ODASHIMA Yushi, WATANABE Moriaki and HIDAKA Hachiro, he founded the KU NA’ UKA theater company in 1990 and soon began staging plays overseas as well as in Japan. As a result, MIYAGI’s work — in which he often fuses contemporary textual interpretations with physical techniques and patterns of Asian theatre — has long been acclaimed both at home and far beyond. Indeed, in 2004 he received the 3rd Asahi Performing Arts Award, and the next year the 2nd Asahi Beer Art Award.
Since taking up his position with SPAC in April 2007, MIYAGI has staged many of his own works — including Medea, the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and Peer Gynt — and has invited artists from abroad to present pieces casting a keen eye on the modern world as they see it. In line with his aim to make theatre “a window to the world,” he has also started a new SPAC-based project aimed at the youth of Shizuoka.
In July 2014, MIYAGI was invited to the Festival d’Avignon in southern France, where he received excellent reviews for his open-air version of the Hindu epic Mahabharata staged in a huge stone quarry named La Carrière de Bourbon.
Following that landmark achievement, the festival extended the honor of inviting MIYAGI to present a Buddhist interpretation he created of the ancient Greek mythological tragedy Antigone as its super-prestigious opening program for 2017. On that occasion, which was the first time an Asian play had ever been selected to launch the festival, MIYAGI’s exalted “stage” was the open-air Cour d’honneur du Palais des papes (the Honor Court of the Palace of Popes). By the play’s end, those towering medieval stone walls were ringing out with long and splendid standing ovations welcoming the work’s director and creator along with SPAC’s actors and staff — while more than 60 European media all gave great reviews.
◎Pre-Performance Talk: Starting 35 minutes before each performance in front of the venue, “Festival garden”.
Directed by MIYAGI Satoshi
Text by KUBOTA Azumi
Music by TANAKAWA Hiroko
Landscape design: KIZ Junpei
Performed by: SPAC / AKAMATSU Naomi, ABE Kazunori, ISHII Moemi, OUCHI Yoneji, OHTAKA Kouichi
KATAOKA Sachiko, KATO Yukio, SAKAKIBARA Yuumi, SAKURAUCHI Yu, SATO Yuzu
SEKINE Junko, DAIDOMUMON Yuya, TAKEISHI Morimasa, TATENO Momoyo
TERAUCHI Ayako, NAKAMURA Yuki, FUSE Asuka, HONDA Maki, MAKIYAMA Yudai
Micari, MORIYAMA Fuyuko, YAMAMOTO Miyuki, YOKOYAMA Hisashi
YOSHIMI Ryo, WAKAMIYA Yoichi, WATANABE Takahiko
Produced by SPAC – Shizuoka Performing Arts Center