DiverseWorks is bringing Faifai, the Tokyo-based contemporary theater group, to Houston on their first US tour. Combining pop visuals, graffiti-like body movements, and polyphonic soundscapes, Anton, Neko, Kuri follows the alternatingly humorous and poignant travails of a stray cat. Faifai uses unconventional performance techniques – including cutting up, sampling and transforming performers’ words into music, and inviting audience intervention – in order to blend disciplines, generate new realities, and reveal the creative process.
Faifai is a Tokyo-based theater company established in 2004. It changed its name from “koyubichi” to “Faifai” in 2008. Since then, they have been active in the vibrant theater scene of Japan’s capital, contributing their own unique vision and sensibility to the field of contemporary performing arts. Interested in making theater accessible to a wide range of audiences while maintaining the integrity of theatrical research, Faifai has successfully developed a new form of theater which is a cross between a play and a party/event.
Incorporating dynamic disciplines like electro music, video and dance, Faifai’s work depicts human relationships in today’s complex society with irony, sensitivity, and humor. As a major representative of Japan’s “Trash & Fresh” subculture, the group has been collaborating with artists from various fields, including architecture, dance, device-art, and contemporary music. Their major theater works include My Name is I LOVE YOU (2009), The Story of Y o’clock (2010), SHIBAHAMA (2010), and Anton, Neko, Kuri (2012). Faifai also organizes events, including Ringo which was shown in September 2012, at KAAT in Yokohama, Japan, in front of 1200 live guests and a record of 3000 USTREAM viewers. Ringo received the 57th Kishida Drama Award in 2013.
Though still a young company, their activities have come to the attention of critics and presenters in Japan, Asia, and Europe while increasingly gaining popularity with audiences. Since 2009, Faifai has toured throughout Asia and Europe, where their multilingual piece, My Name is I LOVE YOU, was awarded the ZKB Patronage Prize at Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Switzerland. For their first U.S. tour in 2013, Faifai will present Anton, Neko, Kuri, nominated for the Toyota Choreography Award in 2012, at Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, IA; REDCAT/Roy & Edna Disney, CalArts Theater, Los Angeles, CA; DiverseWorks, Houston, TX; and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LA.
This presentation is made possible by the generous support of the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program and by the US/Japan Connection, a partnership between the National Performance Network International Program and the Japan Contemporary Dance Network (JCDN) designed to increase artistic exchange between the U.S. and Japan with funding from the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnerships, The US/Japan Friendship Commission, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. For further information, visit the NPN website at npnweb.org.