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A celebration of contemporary Japanese high-tech theatre and dance. Two shows to choose from!

Spotlight Japan

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DATES
Feb 26 - Mar 2, 2013
THEATRE
Berkeley Street Theatre
RUN TIME
Haptic: 65 mins
Sayonara: 65 mins
CIBC PROUD SPONSOR: 12.13 BERKELEY SEASON
CIBC
PARTNERSHIP SUPPORTER
Japan Foundation
DANCE PROGRAMMING SUPPORTER
Hal Jackman Foundation
 
Overview
The Shows
The Casts
Schedule of Events
Extras

Japan’s performance artists are creating some of the most exciting work ever seen on the international stage. The biennial international festival offers a rare opportunity to sample this work in Toronto.


Robot Theater at Japan Society Hiroaki Umeda Hiroaki Umeda: Holistic Strata Oriza Hirata - TEDxseeds presentation 2011 Meet the robot actress in Sayonara Lecture: Hiroshi Ishiguro, Technical Advisor on Sayonara and I,Worker Hirokai Umeda in Holistic Strata. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) Hirokai Umeda in Holistic Strata. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) Hirokai Umeda in Holistic Strata. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) Hirokai Umeda in Holistic Strata. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) Hirokai Umeda in Holistic Strata. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) Hirokai Umeda in Holistic Strata. Photo by Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) Robovie R3 appears in I, Worker. Photo from Hirata’s new play Three Sisters, Android Version. Photo (c) Tsukasa Aoki

two shows to choose from:


haptic and holistic strata

Berkeley Street Downstairs, 7:30 pm

Two pieces by digital choreographer/dancer Hiroaki Umeda

A star of Japan’s avant-garde hip-hop scene, Umeda combines street dance, soundscape, and video/light effects in two utterly hypnotic performances.

***** (out of 5) “Combined with an industrial-strength, techno soundscape, [Haptic and Holistic Strata] left one… generally speechless with admiration.” – The Telegraph


sayonara and i, worker

Berkeley Street Upstairs, 9 pm

Two short plays by Oriza Hirata of Android Robot Theatre

Hirata, Japan’s leading contemporary playwright, creates two works exploring the intersection between human and artificial intelligence. Featuring both human and robot actors.

For Haptic and Holistic Strata:

Dancer - Hiroaki Umeda

For I, Worker:

Yuji - Hiroshi Ota
Ikue - Minako Inoue
Robot A - Takeo (Robot)
Robot B - Robovie (Robot)

For Sayonara:

Android Robot - Geminoid F
Girl - Bryerly Long

Playwright and Director - Oriza Hirata
Technical Advisor - Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro

schedule of events

All events are at Canadian Stage's Berkeley Street Theatre.
Please note that FIRST Robotics will no longer be offering demonstrations this week. All other programming will go on as scheduled.

Tuesday, February 26
  • 7 pm - Complimentary sake tastings with Ontario Spring Water Sake Company and their Izuma-branded sake.
  • 7:30 pm - Haptic and Holistic Strata
  • 8:30 pm - Live music by Linda Kakō Caplan
  • 8:30 pm - Soba noodle demonstration with Chef Takeshi Sato
  • 9 pm - Sayonara and I, Worker
  • 9:30 pm - Soba noodle demonstration with Chef Takeshi Sato
Wednesday, February 27
  • 7:30 pm - Haptic and Holistic Strata
  • 8:30 pm - Live music by Linda Kakō Caplan
  • 9 pm - Sayonara and I, Worker
Thursday, February 28
Friday, March 1
Saturday, March 2
  • 2 pm - Sayonara and I, Worker
  • 4 pm - A reading of two plays by Oriza Hirata (writer and director of Sayonara and I, Worker). Run time: 30 mins per play. Free and open to the public; donations accepted for the Actors Fund of Canada.
  • 7:30 pm - Haptic and Holistic Strata
  • 8:30 pm - Live music by ten ten
  • 9 pm - Sayonara and I, Worker

play readings

As part of Spotlight Japan, we will be presenting readings of two short plays by Oriza Hirata (writer and director of Sayonara and I, Worker). The 30-minute plays will be read back-to-back, in an hour-long session.  The readings will take place at the Berkeley Street Theatre on both March 1 and March 2 at 4 pm. Play readings are presented with support of the Japan Foundation.
 
These sessions are FREE and open to the public – with donations accepted for the Actors Fund of Canada.

The Yalta Conference
By Oriza Hirata, translated by Hiroko Matsuda and Cody Poulton
March 1 and 2 at 4 pm
Directed by Moynan King
Featuring Melody Johnson, Karen Robinson and Alex Tigchelaar

A  black comedy that re-enacts the conference of Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in Yalta post-WWII, as they discussed how to divide up Europe and what to do about Japan. This play has been highly acclaimed for its cutting humour and has been performed around the world.

Loyal Ronin: The Working Girls' Version
By Oriza Hirata, translated by Hiroko Matsuda and Cody Poulton
March 1 and 2 at 4 pm
Directed by Mitchell Cushman
Featuring Jasmine Chen, Katherine Cullen, Amy Keating, Mayko Nguyen, Emily Piggford, Pamela Sinha and Julie Tepperman
Sound design by Samuel S. Sholdice

A group of frustrated office workers heatedly discuss the changing personnel structures in their company and hatch a bloodthirsty plan over lunch. Based on the classic story of Chushingura, about a group of samurai warriors plotting to avenge their dead lord, this irreverent parody was called “a hoot” by Canada.com.


musical performers

Linda Kakō Caplan
February 26 and 27
Linda Kako Caplan

Linda Kakō Caplan is Canada's premier koto and shamisen artist. She is a Dai Shihan (Grandmaster) from the Chikushikai Koto School in Fukuoka, Japan, and is the only koto player of non-Japanese descent to attain this prestigious rank to date. Learn more about her work at www.lindacaplan.com. Sample her work in this video: http://goo.gl/CvLe5

Ron Korb
February 28
Ron Korb

Ron Korb is an award-winning flutist and composer who blends Eastern and Western Music. Reflecting jazz, Chinese, Celtic, and Latin influences, his music embodies the diverse cultures, traditions and experiences of his travels. Ron has composed gold and double platinum selling songs for major Asian artists. Learn more at www.ronkorb.com. Sample his music with this video: http://goo.gl/9LC7e
 
ten ten
March 1 and 2
ten ten

Ten Ten is a Japanese music ensemble led by Aki Takahashi on vocals and shamisen (three-stringed lute).  Together with Kiyoshi Nagata on taiko (drums) and Heidi Chan on shinobue (folk flute) the trio performs original music inspired by Japanese folk songs known as Min’yo. Visit www.tentencanada.com to learn more. Watch a sample of their music at http://goo.gl/Xnx5j
 

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