Moriaki Watanabe/ Kyoto Performing Arts Center

AGATHA – The Limits of Dance / The Limits of Words

Marguerite Duras’ AGATHA is revived as a luscious and hazardous dance.

Besides covering a vast range of academic fields, from French Literature to Japanese traditional arts, intellectual giant Moriaki Watanabe has presided over the theatrical project “The Hanging Gardens” (Kuchuu Teien), and as a director has been on a permanent quest for innovative forms of representation. The newest challenge of this director who continues to explore and renovate himself is a dance performance of Marguerite Duras’ AGATHA, which he has already staged twice as a theater play. This time it will be presented by a pair of dancers whose superior corporeity is worth notice: Tsuyoshi Shirai and Misako Terada. Watanabe has described Shirai as “an artist who has received vast attention for his incomparable physhique, able both as a coreographer and as a dancer to produce what is known in Noh theater as “the geniune flower”, the ageless performatic beauty”. About Terada, he has said that “She firmly drows all eyes towards her lively way of staging both the gracefulness of academic dance and the madness of contemporary dance”. This peformance is the realization of the exciting collaboration among the three of them. How will the director’s reading of the forbidden love between brother and sister be brought back to life on the Shunjyuza stage?

Kyoto, Japan

Moriaki Watanabe

Born in 1933 in Tokyo. He is a theatre director and an artistic director of the Japanese theatre company “The Hanging Gardens” (kuchuu Teien). From the early 1970s, he has directed many theatre works including Racine’s tragedy Phèdre (National Arts Festival Excellence Award), Musset’s Lorenzaccio, Genet’s Les Bonnes (Yomiuri Drama Award) and Kyoka Izumi’s Tenshu Monogatari among others. Being well versed in Noh, Kyogen, and other forms of traditional Japanese theater, Watanabe has written and directed the Noh Junction pieces Lady Aoi and Taema, as well as the original Noh pieces such as Le Nom de la Rose—les Pivoines du Hasédéra Based on P.Claudel’s Poems. He is also a professor of French literature, theatre and Culture-andRepresentation. His books are Pleasure and Desire: On the Phantasm on the Stage, Beyond the Pale with Tradition, and the Japanese translations of Racine’s Phèdre and Andromaque, Claudel’s The Satin Slipper (Mainichi Book Prize for translation), Barthes’ On Racine (Yomiuri Literature Prize for Translation), and Foucault’s History of Sexuality: The Will to Knowledge etc. After having been the vice-president of The Open University of Japan, a professor of The University of Tokyo, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris III, he is a professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design and the director of Kyoto Performing Arts Center since 2009, as well as Professor Emeritus at The University of Tokyo.

Translation, Direction, ConceptionMoriaki Watanabe
TextMarguerite Duras
Choreography, DanceTsuyoshi Shirai, Misako Terada
ReadingMoriaki Watanabe
LightingMotoi Hattori (Lighting Company Akarigumi)
Stage ManagerMasaya Natsume
Sound EngineerManabu Saito
Assistant DirectorYuichi Kinoshita
Stage Manager AssistantNagara Wada
Planned, Produced byKyoto University of Art and Design, Kyoto Performing Arts Center
Co-Produced byKyoto Experiment
Co-Operated byThe Hanging Gardens, Highwood
Literary AgentBUREAU DES COPYRIGHTS FRANCAIS, Kyoto Art Center “Artist-in-Studios” Program
Presented byKyoto Experiment