Monday 29 February 2016 at 20:30

Do you Noh Shakespeare: King Lear dreaming

Naohiko Umewaka, director and actor
Eric Ferrand-N'Kaoua, piano
Soraya Umewaka, actor
Naotomo Umewaka, actor
Anne Marie Salame, narrator

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A master of Japanese medieval Noh theatre meets an international concert pianist for an entirely new live-performance.
Hypnotic Noh body language blends with classical and modern piano works. The visions culminate in a deeply original interpretation of Shakespeare’s character King Lear.*
Naohiko Umewaka is world renown as the first great  Noh master who opened his immense traditional heritage to an interaction with foreign art forms. His long -time friendship with the accomplished and eclectic French pianist Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua,  equally at ease in classical and jazz-influenced repertoire,  now leads them to perform together for the first time.
Piano music by Wagner, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Gershwin,  Martial Solal….
Video material by Soraya Umewaka
*King Lear’s character from “Lear Dreaming” appears by courtesy of Singaporean stage director Ong Keng Sen


Naohiko Umewaka
Naohiko Umewaka, PH.D Noh master of the Kanze School Professor of Shizuoka University of Art and Culture. Naohiko Umewaka’s family lineage in the art of Noh dates back to six hundred years. His great grandfather, Umewaka Minoru, is credited with saving Noh theater from extinction. Naohiko, trained by his father, the legendary Noh master Naoyoshi, has been performing since he was three, and played his first major role in Tsuchigumo at the age of nine. He has composed, choreographed and directed a number of new Noh plays, including The Baptism of Jesus, which was performed at the Vatican before Pope John Paul II on December 23, 1988. As well as performing with his troupe worldwide, he writes and directs new classical plays with Noh elements, and appeared as Emperor Hirohito in the 1995 film Hiroshima. Naohiko, who received his Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of London, is currently a professor at Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, where he does academic research on the concepts, philosophy and internal choreography of Noh theater.

Nominated Ambassador of the Bunka cho Asia Summer 2008
Prize winner at the International Festival of Theatre ‘13me Journées Théâtrales de Carthage-2007’ supported by the Tunisian Ministry of Culture (Tunis, 2007)
31st UNESCO International Theatre Institute’s Theatre Olympics of the Nations, Manila, 2006, which was chosen as one of the best 10 participants by Inquirer.

A.B. Comparative Culture, Sophia University (Tokyo, 1981) Ph.D Theater and Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London (London, 1995).

Teaching Experience
Professor, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture (Hamamatsu, 2000-present).
Visiting Professor, Nihon University (Tokyo, 2010-present). Visiting Professor, Royal Holloway (London, 2000-2008) Japan Foundation’s Visiting Professor (Manila, July 2006-October 2006) Part time Lecturer, Kokushikan University (Tokyo, 2005-present)
Visiting Professor, University of Philippines (Manila, 2005-2007)
Part time Lecturer, Kobe Gakuin Joshi Community College (Kobe, 2001-2005)
Part time Lecturer, Sophia University (Tokyo, 2004) Visiting Artist, Princeton University (New Jersey, 2005) Visiting Researcher, Int. Research Center for Japanese Studies (Kyoto, 1995-1997)
Visiting Lecturer, Royal Holloway (London, 1995-2000)

Author of ‘Noh no Shotai (Introduction to Noh)’ for Iwanami shoten, 2nd edition. (Japan, 2003) Press
Participant and lecturer in symposia, ‘Breathing Mind in Noh’ where he was also a recipient of a scientific research on his heart pulse & brain for NHK (Educational Japanese TV).
CNN report of family heritage and the art of Noh theater 1996.

Director and performer of a short movie, ‘The Birthday Cake’ for Keio University Digital Media Content, department using Olympus digital camera for motion pictures (4K, 8 mega pixels). This film was shown at IGrid 2005 in the US and Keio University in 2007.
In the film ‘HIROSHIMA’, Naohiko acted as Emperor Hirohito, which was co-produced by the U.S., Canada and Japan, and directed by Roger Spottiswoode and Koreyoshi Kurahara. The film was released in the U.S. and Canada in August, 1995 and has also been released in Japan in 1996 on NHK. – 3 – *Winner, First Place “Gold Camera Award: 1996 U.S. International Film and Video Festival. Elmhurst, Illinois. *Winner, ACE Eddie for Outstanding Artistic Achievement in Editing for a Mini-series,  smposium/Conference/Workshops.
Main participant at symposium ‘Kokoro of the Noh,’ (Japanese Festival in London, 2001).
Performer, lecturer and participant in symposium, ‘Noh: The Art of Burning Within. Inspiration, Influence and Practice’ (Royal Holloway of the University of London, London, 2006)
Participant of Ted Talk Japan May 2010
Director and performer of workshops on Noh Theater techniques in various universities and Art spaces in Japan, USA, UK, Wales, Italy, Tunisia, Lebanon, NY Theater Performances ‘The Baptism of Jesus,’ was choreographed and performed by Naohiko before Pope John Paul II at the Vatican Palace on Christmas Eve (Italy, 1988).
Choreographer – ‘Madame de Sade’ by Yukio Mishima (Almeida Theatre, London, 1994).
Choreographer, director and performer of ‘Qui Affinity’ (Spring Loaded Festival, London, 1994)
Director, choreographer, and performer of ‘The Dance of Flower’ at the Smithsonian Museum (Washington D.C., 1994)
Choreographer and performer of ‘Azuchi.’ (Japan, Grand Palais and Musée Guimet, Paris, France, 1996) Performer of ‘Yashima’ as part of the celebrations in connection with the Japanese Emperor’s visit to Brazil (Ipilanga Park, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1997).
Performer of ‘Takayama Ukon’ written by Otohiko Kaga with costumes by renowned fashion designer Mori Hanae at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Japan.
Performed as King Lear in a multicultural production ‘King Lear’ with elements of Noh Theater. (This production went on tour: Berlin’s Theater der Welt, Germany, Hong Kong Arts Festival, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Denmark, 1999). Performer of ‘Yashima’ with stage designer and photographer Sugimoto Hiroshi (Dia Center for the Arts, New York, Peter Zumthor Museum in Bregenz, Austria, 2001) Choreographer and performer of ‘Hannibal,’ written by Ambassador Salah Hannachi (Tunisian Gala, 2002), Tokyo American Club for College Woman Association Japan, Tokyo, 2003). International Carthage Festival at the Carthage Amphitheater (Tunisia, 2007) Choreographer and performer of ‘Coffee.’ (Asiatic Society of Japan, Tokyo, 2003). Performer of ‘Yashima’ as part of a cultural exchange with Vietnamese actors (Japanese Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, 2003).
Choreographer, director, and performer of ‘The Coffee Shop Within the Play.’
Performed, directed at: Japanese Society of Transcultural Psychiatry’s ‘Anger Symposium’ at Keio University, Tokyo, 2003.
Princeton University, New Jersey, 2006
Harajuku Quest for Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Japan, 2006.
Cultural Center of the Philippine’s International Theatre Festival, Philippines, 2006
Beryth Theater, University St Joseph, Beirut, 2012
Performer of Noh play, ‘Toru’ (Grand Exhibition of the Ohara School of Ikebana in Kobe, Japan, 2006) Choreographer, director and performer of ‘La Magie de L’instant’ with violonist Ikuko Kawai for Guerlain Sakura Blossom party at Frank Lloyd design Jiyugaken.
Choreographer and performer of a new modern play ‘Italian Restaurant’
Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Hamamatsu, Japan, 2004
BankArt, NYK Studio (Yokohama,Japan, 2008. n Trinity College Wales (March 2009)
Lebanese American University of Beirut Lebanon August/September 2009.
Opera house in Ankara (Jan 10) & National theater in Istanbul (Jan ‘10)
Theatro Agora in Rome (March ’10)
Laboratori DMS Theatro in Bologna (October 2011)
Performer at “Freikeh festival” in Lebanon August 2009
Performer at pre opening of Turkey/Japan year January 2010
Performer at a charity event for Haiti Black wave at Konno Hachiman Shrine April 2010
Director, performer of a new play, ‘One Night With Two Meals’  (BankArt, Yokohama, Japan, 2006). Performer of Noh play, ‘Sumidagawa’ as part of the International Carthage Festival at the Carthage Amphitheater (Tunisia, 2007)
Performer of ‘Okina/Dance of Sisa’ for a joint Japanese-Filipino Noh performance of to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations during the Philippines-Japan Friendship Day with five Noh masters: Kosuke Terasawa (Shite), Yuichi Inoue (Kyogen), Jiro Fujita (Fue) Shunichiro Hisada (Kotsuzumi) and Mr. Shigeji Omura (Otsuzumi) (Philippines, July 23rd, 2006)
Director of an all-Filipino performance, ‘Okina/The Travel of Sisa: A Noh in Laguna (Ang Paglalakbay ni Sisa Isang Noh sa Laguna)’ (University Theatre of UP Diliman, Philippines, 2006)
Performer and choreographer of a new Noh play ‘Xavier’ by Otohiko Kaga in celebration of the 500th birth year of Francis Xavier, (Hosho Noh Theatre, Japan, 2006).
Performer of a Noh play ‘Ataka’ in the annual Takigi (torch lit) (Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Japan, 2006).
Performer of ‘Tunnel Vision,’ a collaboration with artists from Holland (Japan, 2006).
Choreographer and performer of ‘St Francisco de Xavier’ written by Otohiko Kaga. (National Noh Theater Japan, 2006).
Performer and choreographer of a new Noh play, ‘Ondine’ based on a Greek mythology, written by the neuroscientist, Homma, at the National Noh Theater (Japan, 2007).
He also participated in a medical conference related to breathing & apnea. This performance was broadcasted nation-wide on January 1st on BS 11 (2008).

Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua, piano
Eric Ferrand-N’Kaoua, a pianist who is dedicated as much to solo performances as to chamber music and concertos. His eclectic repertoire enables him to glide from Bach’s Goldberg Variations towards Gershwin, Bartók or Stravinsky within the same programme; and all this combined with a deep attraction towards jazz.
Several original performances have been recorded live, and reproduced on the site. EFNK says: “We performers really feel alive only on stage. No matter the number of listeners, one or a thousand, one dives into the music, looking only forward, and sometimes getting to something emotional or surprising. With true live recordings, there is no perfection but flesh and blood; like with human beings.” 

Soraya Umewaka, actor
Soraya Umewaka performed Noh at the National Noh Theater from the age of three.
She studied in Japan, England and the US and majored in Comparative Politics at Princeton University.
She has been documenting her father Naohiko Umewaka ‘s Noh performances as a documentary filmmaker for the past six years.
Her documentary ‘Unmasking Noh’ has received the Asian Dramatic TV Award at Tokyo Docs Forum in 2013.
Beside being an actress she received in 2014 an achievement recognition award from the Lebanese Ministry of Culture for her Lebanese documentary “Bukra Minshouf”, which she helped produce.
This documentary which focuses on 10 artists from different backgrounds, using art as a tool for transcending sectarian divisions and encouraging freedom of thought, despite decades of social and political instability and the uncertainties of what tomorrow may bring, she participated in various film festivals round the world.

Naotomo Umewaka, actor
Naotomo Umewaka is an actor, filmmaker producer, cinematographer and photographer. He was born in
Tokyo and performed at the National Noh theatre since the age of 3. He has lived in Japan, London and the US.
After studying film at Temple University, Naotomo has made short fiction films, comedies, and
documentaries, which participated in various film festivals. His film ‘Nothing Else Matters’ won the Critic’s
prize from the Pratt Institute in New York and he received a special mention from the Foreign Correspondence Club in Tokyo for his film ‘Lifesaver’. In 2013, he pitched a Noh documentary project at the Tokyo Docs Forum and received the Grand Prize, Asian Dramatic TV Award.

Anne Marie Salame, narrator
Anne-Marie Salameh is a Lebanese actress born in Faraya, Lebanon. She studied at St. Vincent De Paul, Ajaltoun branch School, and is a graduate of the Lebanese University, Institute of Fine Arts. She won the Postgraduate Diploma in Dramatic Art. In TV series she started in “Lhall b’Ydak” (The Solution is in Your Hands) – author Shukri Anis Fakhoury, with the director Samir Habshi, the supervisor of her diploma at university (cinema section). It continued with the two series “Majnoun Layla” (The Crazy of Layla) and “Sarah” – author Claudia Marshalian. This moved her to reach the secondary roles level: the first role as a lawyer, ” Maître Sabah”, a character with mental disorder undergoing hysterical bouts of anger in “Ajial” (Generations) – directed by Philip Asmar. Followed by several roles, especially the role of a playful, easy girl whose character changes after marriage in “Ghaltet Omri” (The Mistake of my Life); and a socially significant role in “Jouzour” (Roots) as “Hanadi”, a violated and exploited wife. She then played main roles as in “Solo Llayl Llhazin” (Solo, the Sad Night) as “Sara”, an educated girl with conservative parents who changed her path after being seduced by the glory of money and fame, entered to the world of modeling and private nightlives, leading her to statuses of hysterical crises, fear, agony, severe remorse, that ended with full repentance, achieving the forgiveness of her parents.
With her talent, Anne-Marie was able to feature in many historical and modern drama, through various key roles with several producers, writers and directors, from Lebanon and abroad (Iran, Japan, Syria, Egypt), in serials that showed on the most important local, Arab, and satellite channels.