Charan Po Rantan performing at Japan Nite at SXSW in 2013.

Japan Society Announces Eclectic 2015–16 Season

The season includes new plays, workshops, lectures, and cultural events in conjunction with traditional Japanese performances.

NEW YORK CITY: Japan Society Performing Arts has announced its 2015—16 season, featuring traditional Japanese theatre, Okinawa dance, and music.

The season begins with traditional dance from Okinawa (Sept. 18—19), performed by alumni and faculty of Okinawa Prefectural University of the Arts, which explores the rich history and culture of the archipelago off of southern Japan.

Next will be a concert featuring Charan-Po-Rantan (Oct. 29), a pair of sisters who perform circus, pop, klezmer, circus, gypsy music, and chanson. The concert is presented as part of Women on the Rise, a Japan Society initiative to produce more programming and content related to women.

Following will be Company Derashinera’s Spectator (Nov. 13—14), a multimedia dance performance that explores an outlandish world, inspired by a series of workshops with students from a school for the deaf in Tokyo. Naoya Oda, Maki Yamada, and Mai Nagumo will star. Shuji Onodera will choreograph and direct.

Next is A Night of Kyogen/Mansaku Nomura + Mansaku-no-Kai Kyogen Company (Dec. 10—12), a presentation of kyogen comedic theatre featuring Mansaku Nomura and Yukio Ishida. The event will also include Akutaro, about a troublemaker’s unexpected journey to repentance, starring Mansai.

Following will be the North American premiere of Toshiki Okada’s God Bless Baseball (Jan. 14—17, 2016), about the influence of America’s favorite pastime on Japan and Korea.

Next is Ripe Time and The Play Company’s coproduction of Naomi Iizuka’s Sleep (Feb. 26—28, 2016), about a young Japanese housewife plagued with insomnia, with an original score by NewBorn Trio. Rachel Dickstein will direct. Sleep is presented as part of the Women on the Rise Festival.

Following will be Suguru Yamamoto’s Girl X (March 21, 2016), presented as part of the annual play reading series Contemporary Japanese Plays, which depicts an anxiety-ridden society through the story of one anonymous family in present-day Tokyo. Charlotte Brathwaite will direct.

Also part of the season will be Butoh+Dance Workshop for Kids (Oct. 4), a movement workshop featuring a craft activity and butoh dancing led by Yukio Suzuki.

Next will be Kyogen Movement Workshop for Kids (Dec. 12), presented in conjunction with A Night of Kyogen / Mansaku Nomura + Mansaku-no-Kai Kyogen Company, featuring a children’s workshop of noh theatre, acting out traditional animals of kyogen theatre, and crafting.

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