` inAnimate Objects

(in)Animate Objects - the Contemporary Puppetry of Nakamura Aya

NAKAMURA Aya is a London-based theatre practitioner, puppeteer and puppet maker originally from Japan. The unique style she has cultivated within the field is distinctly recognisable in the productions she has been part of, including adaptations of traditional Western fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel (Horse+Bamboo Theatre, 2016), as well as Japanese literary classics like AKUTAGAWA Ryunosuke’s The Spider’s Thread (Rouge28 Theatre, 2020). Challenging our assumptions of what a puppet is, NAKAMURA works with a variety of mediums to produce puppets made in the paper theatre style, puppets constructed of everyday objects, and even human-sized Bunraku-style dolls.

Kicking off 2021 in the first of our online events in the new year, the Japan Foundation presents a special webinar during which NAKAMURA will talk about what sparked her interest in taking up puppetry and her creative influences, in addition to her philosophy and work as a puppeteer, puppet-maker, and workshop leader in more detail. She will also discuss her artistic collaborations, both national and international, such as with the multi award-winning company Rouge28 Theatre (which the Japan Foundation has had the pleasure of supporting in the past).

After her initial presentation, there will be a virtual showing of her short film production in the paper theatre style, The Spider’s Thread, followed by a discussion with the composer for the work, Verity Lane, uncovering the behind the scenes of the project. Among other topics, they will examine the feasibility of collaborative projects under the restrictive period of the ongoing pandemic and how performing art professionals can and do adapt to the new environment going forward.

About the guest speaker

Verity Lane is a neurodivergent composer, writer, artist, director and producer that specialises in creating avant-garde multidisciplinary works steeped in Japanese culture. She lived in Japan for 10 years, graduating from Osaka College of Music with a masters in composition where her studies focused primarily on traditional Japanese instruments and aesthetics. She collaborates frequently with Japan and UK based artists and musicians and has recently set up Jo-Ha-Kyū Arts, an arts company focused on producing genre-defying works steeped in Japanese culture.

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.



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