JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Ghibli Fest, JAPAN CUTS, One OK Rock

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobeshi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

Before and after the outdoor fireworks, enjoy some summer events in the cool indoors, whether it’s catching one of the dozens of films premiering at Japan Society’s annual festival, or enjoying anything from interpretative theater to the latest rock sensation.

This month’s highlights include:

Courtesy of Lamama.org.jpg

June 30-July 2

In the Box 2: You and Me

The Club (La MaMa), 74A East 4th Street

$20-$100

Celebrated for her captivating work with the Martha Graham Dance Company, dancer/choreographer Miki Orihara premieres the second incarnation of her multi-media work, In the Box (ITB). Directed by theatrical visual-effects specialist Hiroyuki Nishiyama, this new experimental dance-theater piece features performances by Bessie Award winner Orihara with original music by best-selling Sony Music artist Senri Oe.

Following the 2015 Using cutting edge animations and projections from Japan, In the Box 2 (ITB2) juxtaposes three-dimensional sounds and images with the flesh and bones of a dancer and her moving shadow. ITB2 follows the 2015 premiere of ITB which explored the paradox of “Where Technology Meets the Body” inspired by Schrödinger‘s cat (quantum mechanics). ITB 2 picks up where its predecessor left off and opens the book of our lives in a paradoxical nature. “ITB2 explores human nature by mixing the human body with technology,” explains Orihara. “Audiences will experience entirely new sensations!” Using a streamlined technology of sensor system and infrared camera, audiences can enjoy the dancer’s motions and visual expressions through streamlined technology including CG, infrared cameras, and three-dimensional audio.

Courtesy of GKIDS

Wednesday, July 4-5

Ponyo

Village East Cinema, 189 Second Avenue

$15

Part of this year’s Studio Ghibli Fest! Perfect for audiences of all ages, PONYO centers on the friendship between five-year-old Sosuke and a magical goldfish name Ponyo, the young daughter of a sorcerer father and a sea-goddess mother. After a chance encounter, Ponyo yearns to become a human so she can be with Sosuke. Hayao Miyazaki’s tale is a beautiful combination of unbridled imagination, visual wonder and tender love, humor, and devotion from the emotional heart of the film. The July 4 screening will be presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

ANTI-PORNO © 2016 NIKKATSU

July 13-23

JAPAN CUTS 2017

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

Most films $14/$11 seniors and students, $10 members

Now in its 11th year, North America’s largest festival of new Japanese cinema returns to serve up a slice of the best and boldest titles from Japan never before seen in NYC with special guest filmmakers and stars, post-screening Q&As, parties and much more. Boasting a thrilling slate of epic blockbusters, shoestring independents, radical documentaries, mind-bending avant-garde, newly-restored classics, and breathtaking animation, JAPAN CUTS 2017 promises a bounty of cinematic discoveries for film fans and pop culture enthusiasts alike. For a list of this year’s special guests, click here.

Courtesy of Publictheater.org

Friday, July 21, 7:30 pm.

Akiko Yano Trio featuring Will Lee & Chris Parker 

Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street

$35

Akiko Yano returns to Joe’s Pub with her longtime New York friends/virtuoso musicians Will Lee and Chris Parker, answering overwhelming demand from the fans who caught their previous go-round in March 2016. See the pop and jazz chanteuse whom Jon Pareles of the New York Times calls “a world class songwriter with a clear, gentle, wide-ranging voice. She is also an accomplished, endearing performer who might be a Japanese Carole King, Joni Mitchell or Meredeith Monk…”

Courtesy of GKIDS

July 23-24

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Various locations

$12.50-$13.50

Also part of Ghibli Fest, from the legendary Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki comes the beloved coming-of-age story of a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and set out into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her life journey with her chatty black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a sea-side village, where a bakery owner hires her to make deliveries. This special two-day event will also feature GKIDS Mini-Fest, an ongoing festival of the best animated shorts from around the world. The July 24 screening will be presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Courtesy of Playstationtheater.com

July 28-29

One OK Rock

PlayStation Theater, 1515 Broadway

$32.50

Formed in 2005, One OK Rock has performed mainly at live concerts. The group fuses different music styles like emo, rock and heavy metal into their own, their sound and frenetic live performance are supported by enthusiastic fans of young age. Performed at every rock festival all over the country last summer, their first album entered the chart in second place on October 2011. Then, in autumn, they had nationwide concert tour, and performed to 24,000 fans at the sold-out show in Yokohama Arena for 2days at the end of the tour. Featuring support from Set It Off and Palisades.

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