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Japan, VN mimes come to Hà Nội

Update: March, 24/2018 - 07:00
All mime: Without Signal! is a performance by Vietnamese and Japanese artists on March 30 & 31 at 11 Ngô Thì Nhiệm. Photo Kaori Ito
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Japanese and Vietnamese performers will debut a theatre production entitled Without Signal! by director Shuji Ondera at Việt Nam Youth Theatre on March 30 & 31.

Without Signal! consists of mimes and non-verbal performances by five Japanese and four Vietnamese artists. The artists will perform mime movements, turning something invisible into something visible in Without Signal! 

"There will not be a specific story in the performance, that is director Ondera’s style," said established mime artist Hoàng Tùng. "One of the main roles will act confused at the many real and illusory images."  Tùng is one of the Vietnamese artists selected to join the production. The others come from Việt Nam Youth Theatre, Hà Nội Academy of Theatre and Cinema and Việt Nam Opera and Ballet.

The artists travelled to Japan for a one-month rehearsal and then put on four performances at Kanagawa Art Theatre in Yokohama last September.

"I like the work very much. I learned that artists should not work to please audiences who ignore their creativity, because not all audiences appreciate the work," said Tùng.

The work was inspired by director Ondera’s first time in Việt Nam in 2006. He was initially surprised by the country’s streets, with many cars, motorbikes and pedestrians intersecting smoothly. He felt that they seem to move freely despite the traffic. He was also impressed with people’s discipline, moving to fill the spaces on the road yet keeping a distance. 

The director reflects these impressions in Without Signal!

Onodera studied mime at the Mime Institute of Japan. He lived in Paris in 2006 for a year under a fellowship called the New Artists Overseas Research Programme by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. Upon his return to Japan, he established the Derashinera Company to create his own works. 

His unique directing style based on mime techniques with dialogue has proved a success over the years. He was awarded with the title of Japanese Cultural Envoy by the Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan in 2015.

His main stage performances are Ophelia’s Shadow Theatre, Romeo and Juliet in 2016, at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, The Metamorphosis in 2014, at Shizuoka Performing Arts Centre, and The Brothers Karamazov in 2012, at The New National Theater Tokyo. He also directed outdoor theatre works such as The little mermaid at Art Setouchi Trienale 2013. 

The 60-minute performance will have dialogue in Vietnamese and Japanese. Free tickets can be picked up at Japan Foundation, 27 Quang Trung Street in Hà Nội from March 23 at 9.30am to 6pm. The foundation is closed on Sunday. The performance is not suitable for children under six years old. — VNS


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