SHIZUOKA, Japan, May 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ —
– Shizuoka Hosts "Spring Ceremony" and SPAC Special Performance of "Castle Tower" –
As official events of "Culture City of East Asia 2023 SHIZUOKA," the Shizuoka Prefectural Government hosted two events in Shizuoka City on May 2 (Tuesday), 2023: the "Spring Ceremony" and a SPAC (Shizuoka Performing Arts Center) special performance of "Tenshu Monogatari (The Castle Tower)" as an "Open-Air Performing Arts Festival under Mt. Fuji."
"Culture City of East Asia," launched in 2014, is aimed at strengthening East Asia’s ability to communicate its cultural diversity to the world by selecting cities in Japan, China, and South Korea that are seeking to develop through culture and art. On the 10th anniversary of its foundation this year, Shizuoka Prefecture was selected as one of East Asian Culture Cities along with Chengdu and Meizhou in China and Jeonju in South Korea. The Shizuoka Prefectural Government launched "Culture City of East Asia 2023 SHIZUOKA" in January 2023, with plans to hold various cultural and artistic events peculiar to the prefecture seamlessly throughout the year.
About 600 people, including representatives from China and South Korea as well as participants from across Japan, took part in the Spring Ceremony at the Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center "GRANSHIP" in Shizuoka City.
While Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu delivered a speech and a video letter from Cultural Affairs Agency Commissioner Shunichi Tokura was introduced, Meizhou deputy mayor Zhao Dong and Jeonju deputy mayor Kim In-tae gave a speech each. Also, a greeting letter from the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Culture, Broadcast-TV, and Tourism in China was read out by a moderator. Furthermore, an entertainment troupe representing each city was presented at the event. While performances by troupes in Chengdu and Meizhou were shown on video, the Hapgood performance group from Jeonju introduced South Korean folk entertainment featuring the beating of drums and the waving of huge flags during the event.
After the ceremony, "SPAC Special Performance — Open-Air Performing Arts Festival under Mt. Fuji ‘The Castle Tower’" was presented at a special venue set up in Sunpu Castle Park. It is SPAC General Artistic Director Satoshi Miyagi’s masterpiece that adopts a diversity of elements of Asia’s entertainment. It has been performed in many countries. The stage for the performance this time was open-air Sunpu Castle Park with the aroma of trees swaying in the spring wind. This specific environment made it possible to dramatize the world view of the castle tower, the very stage for the story, paving the way for a new aspect of the masterpiece to emerge.
Shizuoka Prefecture, as a representative city for Japanese culture, carries out its mission to actively convey the charms of Japanese culture to three Asian countries and elsewhere in the world from the prefecture throughout 2023. Furthermore, this year marks the 10th anniversary of Mt. Fuji being added to the World Heritage List as a cultural property. While holding events such as "Fuji no Kuni –> <– World Theater Festival" and the "Mt. Fuji International Opera Competition of Shizuoka" by portraying each location in the prefecture as a "theater" like a "garden" full of nature, Shizuoka Prefecture will continue to convey to the world the charms of Japanese culture in wide-ranging fields such as sports, food, fashion, entertainment, hot springs, flowers/gardens, mobility, multicultural coexistence and so on.
About SPAC (Shizuoka Performing Arts Center)
SPAC is the first publicly funded cultural affairs organization in Japan that has its own theaters and training facilities with actors as well as technical and production staff working for artistic purposes. It is tasked with creating and presenting performing arts works, as well as introducing excellent performing arts and nurturing performing artists. SPAC had been conducting full-fledged activities under the leadership of its first General Artistic Director Tadashi Suzuki since 1997. Subsequently, Satoshi Miyagi became the group’s General Artistic Director in 2007 and has since been leading and promoting the group’s activities.
SPAC’s official website: https://spac.or.jp/en/
About "The Castle Tower"
Produced by Satoshi Miyagi, written by Kyoka Izumi, music by Hiroko Tanakawa, "The Castle Tower" is one of Miyagi’s masterpieces. After being premiered in 1996, it has been performed in 30 cities in Japan, India, Pakistan, mainland China, Egypt, South Korea, the United States, France, Taiwan, and so forth, receiving an enthusiastic response from there.
Miyagi has been working to connect the diversity of Asia’s theatrical traditions to new creative works. His intention can be seen everywhere in "The Castle Tower." Live performances by actors, two actors playing the same character with the respective roles of talking and acting, and performing in an open-air space with the aroma of trees swaying in the wind constitute the basics of the "festive music theater" to which General Artistic Director Miyagi and SPAC are devoted.
About "The Castle Tower," please visit: https://spac.or.jp/the-castle-tower_2023