In addition, SPAC ‘s “Special Winter Programs” will feature two special extra productions in December 2021: “Aya no Tsuzumi” (“Le Tambour de soie”) and “Yume to Sakuran” (“Dream and Derangement”).
“Aya no Tsuzumi” (“Le Tambour de soie”)
In 2020’s Art Week in autumn that followed the famed Avignon Festival in summer, one of the hottest programs — “Aya no Tsuzumi” (“Le Tambour de soie”) — was presented by two Japanese artists based in France: the contemporary dancer and choreographer Kaori Ito, and the actor Yoshi Oida. Now both are set to bring the same piece to SPAC this winter.
Ito is active in Europe and Japan, and Oida is well known as a long-standing actor with the world-famous English theatre director Peter Brook’s company which has been based in Paris since 1974.
This time, they chose Yukio Mishima’s modern noh play “Aya no Tsuzumi” (“Le Tambour de soie”) on which to base this fantastic dance-theatre gem centered on an old cleaning man (Oida), who works at a theatre and falls in love with a dancer (Ito). Although Makoto Yabuki’s drum and bamboo percussion beautifully fits with this simple but fiery work, in the end Oida’s love is sadly in vain.
“Aya no Tsuzumi” (“Le Tambour de soie”) runs Dec. 18 and 19 at the Shizuoka Arts Theatre.
“Yume to Sakuran” (“Dream and Derangement”)
A great treasure of French theatre, the late Claude Régy, who was one of SPAC’s most esteemed regular collaborators, and who appeared in its World Theatre Festival Shizuoka in 2010, 2013 and 2018, passed away at the age of 96 in 2019.
Régy’s self-declared final work, a one-man play he wrote in France in 2016 titled “Yume to Sakuran” (“Dream and Derangement”) based on works by the Austrian Expressionism poet Georg Trakl who died, aged 27, of a cocaine overdose in 1914 — had a great reception when it was performed at SPAC’s Ellipse Theatre Daendo in 2018.
Now, as a homage to Régy two years after his great mentor’s death, Miyagi will create his version of “Yume to Sakuran” (“Dream and Derangement”) together with his longtime close colleague and SPAC’s leading actress, Micari.
Recalling times he spent with Régy, Miyagi said, “When he first came to Shizuoka he was almost 90 years old. Back then he often told me about Georg Trakl, what kind of life he lived and how he died young. I was so impressed with the way he took on that subject, to examine a person who became desperate and pushed himself to the limit.
“Usually, artists tend to avoid taking risks so they can keep their jobs, but Régy sought out challenges in order to encounter something new. I think he understood very well how dangerous it is for an artist to opt for safety and security.”
When Miyagi visited Régy in 2019 for what was to be their final meeting, even though Régy was quite weakened he suddenly said to Miyagi: “You will direct ‘Yume to Sakuran’ (‘Dream and Derangement’), won’t you?”
At the time Miyagi hadn’t thought of doing that, and his French assistant said that Régy had perhaps misunderstood something. However, that intentional, or unintentional, question inspired Miyagi to create this work.
“I received many pearls of wisdom from Régy, and I remember he often told the actors ‘to dream.’ He said, ‘We have plenty of time, so let’s dream.’
“I always think about the meaning of that. I think he wanted to say that audiences would see on stage how much imagination the actors actually had … not just their acting and movement, or their voices, but their imagination displayed there.
“So I will direct ‘Yume to Sakuran’ in the same manner this time.”
“Yume to Sakuran” (“Dream and Derangement”) will be staged on Dec. 12 and 18 at the Ellipse Theatre Daendo.
For details, visit https://spac.or.jp/en/