Sat 9 June 2018
Nagareyama City Cultural Hall (Nagareyama-shi Bunka-Kaikan)
14:00 start (approx run time : 90 mins)
*artist talk scheduled after the performance
Tetsuro Koyano (Balinese Mask Dance)
Shunchu Cho (Peking Opera)
Kota Kawamitsu (Ryukyu Dance)
Kai Taniguchi (Acrobatics)
Yutaro Tsuchiya (Thai Classical Dance)
Shingo Yoshizawa (Performer)
Moon Moon Singh (Indian Classical Dance)
Shitamachi Kyodai (Djembe, Percussion)
Takayuki Oshiro (Ryukyu Music)
The Original Work : Mahabharata
Music : Chandran Veyattummal (India), Keisuke Fujii(Japan),Shitamachi Kyodai(Japan), Takayuki Oshiro(Japan)
Masks : I Wayan Tangguh (Indonesia)
Costume : Mandakini Goswami (India)
Stage Art : Firos Khan
Advanced booking : 3000yen
On the door : 3500yen
Under 18 : 500yen
*up to one person accompanying person with disability is free
*small child who does not require seat is free
Booking via Email
Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
And Tell Us:
Your name, Number of Tickets (number of adults and children) and Your Email Address
1-16-2 Ka Nagareyama City, Chiba
Tell 04-7158-3462 (Japanese Only)
Inquiries in English : email@example.com
Nagareyama City Otakanomori Center (Designated Manager Actio Corporation)
Nagareyama City Cultural Hall (Nagareyama City Board of Education)
Nagareyama City Otakanomori Center (Designated Manager Actio Corporation)
Parthenon Tama - Tama City Combined Cultural Center
Kanazawa Citiezen's Art Center
Chino Cultural Complex
Hitachi Systems Hall Sendai
Japan Foundation For Regional Art- Activities
About the Project
Pan-Asia Mahabharata project is an international joint project of the eight-year plan that started from 2013 and will run through to 2020. In this project “Mahabharata”, the enormously long story is divided into 4 parts and eventually will
be incorporated as the “Mahabharata” completed version in 2020. Mahabharata is the origin of the culture of various parts of Asia. Director Hiroshi Koike, who has experienced numerous international collaborative works, has not only taken up one part but also the whole story of this ancient epic working with the artists from Asian countries. Through this long-term project, the audience will discover redefined visions of Asian aesthetics and the world we see today.
Mahabharata Chapter 2.5 is an expanded version of the Chapter 2 which first shown in India 2015.
Kochi Chronicle 9 January 2015
An Epic that bridges cultures
3 years ago, Hiroshi Koike, a popular name in contemporary Japanese theatre was disturbed with the state of his homeland which was experiencing the trauma following the Tsunami and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster. He realized the huge necessity of building a bridge between people across the world by blending layers like nationalities, races, languages and religions that divide them. Dissolving his 30-year-old world renowned performing arts company Pappa Tarahumara, he founded Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project, that connects people of the world through artistic collaborations internationally.
It was at that time that he read the Mahabharata, that explores the intricacies of the human mind, its conflicts, desires, greed, affections, violence and ego. Without a second thought he started off a Pan-Asian intercultural theatre project, The Mahabharata. He divided it into four parts between the wars, the betrayals and the games. The first part he performed in Cambodia in 2013 and is now here in Kerala to stage its second chapter in collaboration with Thrissur-based Theatreconnekt. The 90-minute-long part 2 focuses on Vanaparva, commencing from the ‘game of dice’ to the end of 13 years exile of Pandavas. Hiroshi’s team which includes some of the most talented and accomplished artists from Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and India, is all set to perform the play at International Theatre festival in Thrissur after two months of intense rehearsals. “I am really happy to present the Mahabharata in India, where the play originated. It traverses through various layers of the human minds. The epic speaks about destruction and at the end tells us that it is easy to be destructive, we have to learn to live in harmony. That concept of the Mahabharata is explored here in India through the second chapter says the director. The third chapter of his dream project will be staged in Tokyo and the last part in Malaysia.
Hiroshi feels that there is a great importance for the Asian way of thought in the contemporary world. “ I think the Mahabharata has the essence of Asian thought, philosophy and sensibility. The purpose of Mahabharata project is to derive a new perspective of history and rediscover what we had and search what we have,” he adds.
The artists performing in India include Butoh dancer Lee Swee Keong from Malaysia, Balinese mask dancer Koyano Tetsuro from Japan, Japanese ballet dancer Sachiko Shirai, Thailand-based choreographer Waewdao Sirisook, Moon Moon Singh, Sreejith Ramanan, Denny Paul and Sumesh from India. “I have already mixed many layers, and they evolve creating amazing output,” he says with a smile.
For Sreejith Ramanan, an actor and researcher from Thrissur, who plays Hanuman, Yudishtira, Bheeshma, working with artists has helped him strengthen his understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the country.
“After Peter Brook’s Mahabharata, this will be the biggest project in the world. Peter Brook approached it in a global context by casting people from all over the world, while Hiroshi has a pan-Asian approach. It is more of physical movements that are topped with some fantastic music by Chandran Veyattummal and costumes by Mandakini Goswami,” he adds
Mahabharata Contribution in English
India’s epic tale of Mahabharata has inspired dances, poetry, plays, music, sculpture, painting, and puppets throughout Asia for two thousand years. The challenge of how to bring Mahabharata into the modern age was first attempted by Peter Brook in 1985 and since then few directors have had the courage to attempt a new version.
Koike Hiroshi has taken on the challenge for the 21st century. He recently completed Part Four of a multi-national production which he developed in five countries and took nearly five years to complete. I did not see the first three parts, but was able to see Part Four ~ War Was Over when it was performed in Bangkok in early August.
Koike spent months in rehearsal with his carefully chosen cast who included some of the best actors and dancers active today in Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and Northern Thailand. He managed to weave their disparate skills into a complex and enthralling tapestry of movement. The choreography and stage direction covered a huge range, from traditional court dance of Indonesia and Northern Thailand, to modern dance and Butoh; from sorrow, anger, love, shame, and pride, to laughter and comedy.
Koike is a very detail-oriented director, demanding from his artists great precision and physical endurance. The result was a performance with fascinating movement and a high level of energy from beginning to end. The difficulty of Mahabharata is the elaborate story with dozens of characters and many sub-plots. Even breaking the tale into four parts is not sufficient to make it all understandable. What Koike did was to transcend that problem with a super-theatrical production that with sheer force of emotion and elegant fast-moving choreography expressed the essence of the story to the audience.
Koike took something ancient and made it feel very modern. It will likely be another thirty years, or maybe much more, before anyone is able to supersede Koike’s Mahabharata. In that sense, he has produced a true masterwork.
Alex Arthur Kerr
Born in Maryland, U.S.A. in 1952; Majored in Japanese Studies in Yale University; Studied in Keio University; Did Chinese Studies in the University of Oxford; Published Utsukushiki Nihon no Zanzo, pub: Shinchosha, Japan, 1993 (its English version Lost Japan, pub: Lonely Planet Co., Australia, 1996); The book became popular and was awarded with the Shincho Literature Prize. Besides writing books and articles such as “Inu to Oni” Shirarezaru Nihon no Shozo (“Dog and Demons” Portrait of an Unknown Japan), Kodansha; he is now actively involved in consulting business as a scholar in Eastern culture for public projects such as machiya (Japanese traditional wooden houses) restoration project in Kyoto.
Director, Choreographer, Writer, Photographer, the President of P.A.I. (Performing Art Institute).
Born and raised in Hitachi, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan.
After working as a TV director, he started a performing arts company, “Pappa TARAHUMARA”, in 1982. He has directed 55 pieces and worked with many artists in many countries and established high reputation throughout the world.
He held many important posts in various committees such as Artistic Director of Tsukuba Cultural Foundation (1997~2005), member of the Culture Promotion Committee of Aomori (1999), Chair of the Asian Performing Artists’ Forum in Okinawa, Vice Chair of Asian Arts Net (2000~2005), Specified Donation appointed member of Japan Foundation (2004~2011)
After 3.11(Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima nuclear accident), disbanding the Pappa TARAHUMARA with rich 30 years of history, founded the new project "Hiroshi Koike Bridege Project" in June 2012 to represent the NEW vector to society.
As an art project, it aims at educating people who can "think through their body" and creating a bridge between the boundaries of Culture, time and countries across Japan, Asia and beyond.