O-matase-itashimashita – The wait is over!
The Japanese Festival is not only coming back to Leipzig,
but this time to Dresden and other cities as well. We would like to
welcome back all those who joined our project in Leipzig last year
and look forward to those who will discover the magic and excitement
of this theatre this time around.
This year we will continue to present excellent theatre
artists from Japan who will perform everything from traditional to
modern forms. The main focus of this year’s programme will be the
productions that take place during the festival: The workshop
programme has been broadened this year with the Nô puppet theatre as
well as a continuation of the Butô workshop. There will also be four
different improvisation projects/artistic encounters and many new
things which will take place directly in Leipzig during the
The festival intends to ignore the strong Japanese
distinction between pre-modern and contemporary theatrical culture
by treating them as equal contemporary expressions of theatrical art
of today and, therefore, has invited various professional and most
importantly, artists who are highly aesthetic with wilful ideologies
to Leipzig. Their craft is based on experience which crosses the
strict genre boundaries which are present in both in Japanese and
All the artists invited will not only use elements of drama
and dance, they will also use music and visual arts in form of
masking, costumes, setting and design of the stage which will be
done in a way that their individual pieces create a vivid and
holistic work of (theatrical) art. Today the Japanese art of all
genres is still based on the elementary craft, which, is handed down
from the masters to their students as oral tradition like in ancient
times. This way of learning does not work by studying books or
attending classes at theatre schools.
Since Japan opened to West and its culture and technologies
about 150 years ago, western structures of educating artists were
quickly established alongside the world of traditional (theatre)
arts of the former samurai (bushi) elites and the popular culture of
the main cities in Edo time (1603-1868). Despite this western
influence, the Japanese have also kept their older structures of
oral tradition although with some modifications until today, as well
as their religious theatre of shrines and temples.
The festival intends to make visitors as well as artists
experience the contradictory positions through their interactions
via collaborations and artistic encounters.
We are excited to have gained the Societaetstheater in
Dresden and the Leipzig International Art Programme (LIA) in the
Spinnerei as new partners for the festival this year.
At the moment, we are already planning next year’s programme,
which will bring our project to Japan itself for the first time.
We wish you a unique and enjoyable experience at the
festival. So, let’s have fun – Tanomi-mashô!