This Week in Japan Aug. 21-27, 2017
By Dan Grunebaum
On August 21, 2017
From hot jazz to experimental film to samba dancers, there’s something for everyone this week in Japan. If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.
Monday: Metal creations
Hisao Suzuki “The Speed of Sculpture”
The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, presents around 15 of influential sculptor Hisao Suzuki’s iron, bronze, lead and stone creations from the 1980s and recent stainless steel works in the entrance hall, terrace and other spaces. The show was originally developed by Tokyo’s Musashino Art University Museum and Library.
- Aug 21-Sep 10
- 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
- The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama - Map
Tuesday: Electric jazz
Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band
This dream project brings together two frontmen who were featured in Miles Davis’ influential bands of the 80s with a rhythm section made in session musician heaven. Mike Stern on guitar and Bill Evans on sax provided the counterpoint to Davis’ trumpet during his return to touring and recording. Bassist Darryl Jones backs the likes of Sting and the Stones, while drummer Simon Phillips is a member of Toto and also provides beats for Japan’s Hiromi Uehara.
- Aug 22-23
- 6:30 p.m, 9 p.m.
- Cotton Club, Tokyo - Map
Wednesday: Ballet superstar
Born in Paris and trained at the Paris Opera, Manuel Legris joined the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1980. In 1986, he was appointed Danseur Etoile by then-director, Rudolf Nureyev, where he performed the great roles of the classic and modern repertoire and appeared in numerous world premieres. In May 2009, he gave his farewell performance as Danseur Etoile of the Paris Opera.
Since September 2010 Manuel Legris is Director of the Wiener Staatsballett and Artistic Director of the Ballet Academy of the Vienna State Opera.
- Aug 23-25
- 6:30 p.m.
- Tokyo Bunka Kaikan - Map
Thursday: Elevate your senses
Japanese 'Expanded' Cinema Revisited
Based on works in the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum collection, this show surveys the history of moving images while exploring the possibilities the future holds for this field. The focus is on works that employ methods or forms other than conventional movie theater projection to consider the ‘Expanded Cinema’ concept that was developed from the mid-60s onward by artists and experimental filmmakers based in Europe and the U.S. Japan was quick to carry out experiments in ‘Expanded Cinema,’ beginning in the 1960s, and the results of this trend are now familiar to us all through multi-projection, loop projection and live performances.
- Aug 24-Oct 14
- 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Tokyo Photographic Art Museum - Map
Friday: EDM headbanger
Tommy Trash in Kyoto
Fist in the air and unmistakable locks at large, Tommy Trash is not your stereotypical dance icon. With an armory of his own carefully created anthems, he has thrown to one side the clean-shaven image of EDM idols. Outside of his party-hard stage presence, the Grammy Award nominated producer’s approach to mind-blowing music remains as heartfelt as they come. Trash will be setting the dance floor alight at venerable Kyoto nightclub World.
- Aug 25
- 9 p.m.
- World, Kyoto - Map
Saturday: Brilliant Brazilian dance off
Asakusa Samba Carnival
Japan is a pretty buttoned down place, but the Asakusa Samba Carnival is when they come undone. Estimates of close to half a million people turn out for what has become one of Tokyo’s biggest summer events. Celebrating the Japanese diaspora in Brazil, the 36th annual carnival will see 18 teams compete for the title with samba floats, drummers and near-naked dancers shimmying under enormous feathered head dresses. Arrive early for a view.
- Aug 26
- 1-6 p.m.
- Kaminari-mon, Asakusa - Map
Sunday: Latin melodies
Isla de Salsa Festival
The second day of Japan’s biggest Latin music festival takes place on the sands of Nokonoshima — less than an hour from Tenjin in Fukuoka. Fourteen acts are scheduled altogether spanning Cuban timba to Mexican guitar to Hawaii’s top Latin band Son Caribe, alongside various dance performances, artistic installations and, of course, Latin-themed food and drinks.
- Aug 27
- 1-8 p.m.
- Nokonoshima Campground, Fukuoka - Map