Tokyo 2019: Revised Premiere

THE鍵KEY: Revised Premiere

Awarded the “19th Keizo Saji Prize” by the Suntory Foundation of the Arts

An intellectually and sensually stimulating experience

Mercure des Arts, Reviewed by 齋藤俊夫(Toshio Saito)

Why a ‘revised premiere’?

It was soprano Akane Kudo (The Wife) who suggested the 2019 Tokyo performances of “THE鍵KEY” be publicised as the ‘revised premiere’ opposed to ‘repeat performances’. This was due to the number of adaptations made in response to the new venue, the refinements made by composer Francesca Le Lohé to the score and libretto, and the new choreography created specifically for this incarnation. The decision to create new choreography was the result of inviting a new dancer, Shozo Ayaka, to perform the role of Kimura. In fact, the 2019 Tokyo performances saw four new performers participate, all of whom brought their unique interpretations and performance styles to “THE鍵KEY”.

It could also be argued that ‘repeat performances’ would never quite fit any rendition of “THE鍵KEY”. Since the trios perform their music simultaneously in different rooms with flexibility in start and finish times, and since each trio includes a section of improvisation and/or music open for the player’s interpretation, no two resulting performances will ever be identical. The performers often commented themselves how ‘fresh’ each performance felt and how exciting it was to be part of an organically evolving project.

Audience feedback

I had the image of borderlines in an ink painting gradually becoming blurred

The mother’s [wife’s] musical theme was beautiful

The “key” became symbolic, it felt as though we were peering into the house through the keyhole

Tokyo 2019: Revised premiere

Awarded the “19th Keizo Saji Prize” by the Suntory Foundation of the Arts

Performances:  Sunday 19th May 2019, 6pm 

Saturday 25th May 2019, 2pm, 

Sunday 26th May 2019, 2pm & 6pm

Venue: Denchu Hirakushi House and Atelier, Taito-ku,Tokyo

Staged by: ‘Kagi’ Project Executive Committee

Supported by: Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) and the Japan Arts Council (Japan Arts Fund)
Cooperation: Ibara City, Okayama Prefecture, Ueno-Sakuragi Denchu Hirakushi House and Atelier, NPO Taito Cultural and Historical Society, Arts management group ‘Yanaka no Okatte’, Whole Hog Theatre.

Performers

The Husband Trio
The Husband: Takashi Matsudaira (baritone)
Shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute): Kohei Matsumoto
Double bass: Yukiko Siina
The Wife Trio
The Wife: Akane Kudo (soprano)
Sho (Japanese mouth organ): Atsumi Kojima
Cello: Yuri Kubota
The Daughter Trio
The Daughter: Chieko Noda  (mezzo-soprano)
Kotsutsumi and shimedaiko (Japanese percussion): Mikako Ogawa
Violin: Kyouju Hayakawa
Kimura trio
KimuraShouzo Ayaka (dancer)
Biwa (Japanese lute): Akiko Kubota
Clarinet: Hiroko Miyake

Team

Composer and director: Francesca Le Lohé
Producer: Naoya Yamashita
Dramaturg: Alexandra Rutter (Whole Hog Theatre)
Choreography: Kae Ishimoto
Lighting: Makoto Uemura
Flyer and programme design: Eri Yamashita
Videography: Akira Nishimura
Photography: Shin Sumimoto

Cooperation

Denchu Hirakushi House and Atelier

Denchu Hirakushi (1872–1979) was a modern Japanese sculptor who revitalised the 1,500-year-old tradition of Japanese woodcarving in the twentieth century. In 1970, Denchu donated the house and atelier to his hometown of Ibara City. The house is generally closed to the public, but is maintained by Ibara City, Okayama Prefecture, Ueno-Sakuragi Denchu Hirakushi House and Atelier, NPO Taito Cultural and Historical Society, Arts management group ‘Yanaka no Okatte’ and volunteers from Tokyo University of the Arts.

Whole Hog Theatre

Whole Hog Theatre is an award-winning UK company and
creative collective for emerging creating eclectic adaptations
that encourage diversity and new audiences to the theatre.
Staging the “unstageable” since 2011, the company specialises in
adaptation, working with emerging artists, creating productions
using recycled materials and facilitating Anglo-Japanese
projects. In 2013, Whole Hog Theatre staged the world’s first
theatrical adaptation of Princess Mononoke with the kind
permission of Studio Ghibli. Wishing to build on their success
with Tristan and Isolde and due to the project’s aim of
promoting Anglo-Japanese exchange, Whole Hog Theatre is
excited to support this project with production assistance.

Sponsorship