Event Report List
- Seventh Sen no Kaze Music Festival2月21日
One of the opening events for the Culture City of East Asia 2015 was the Seventh Sen no Kaze Music Festival.
The first section was devoted to performances from five groups selected from a nationwide call. They presented their renditions through group orchestration, song, and interpretive dance.
The second section featured Man Arai and guests from Japan, China, and Korea giving a special live event celebrating Niigata's selection as the 2015 Culture City of East Asia.
As the finale of the festival, the audience was invited to sing ‘Sen no Kaze ni Natte’ with the performers, creating an emotionally charged atmosphere that rippled through the hall.
- New Spring Sino-Japan Culture Festival: Featuring the Harbin Symphony Orchestra2月26日・2月28日
Harbin is noted as a city of skilled musicians, and the Harbin Symphony Orchestra was the first orchestra founded in China. Niigata invited the group for a performance. Compositions from Europe, China, and Japan were performed, in some cases incorporating traditional Chinese instruments like the Erhu and Pipa. Given the uniqueness of the fact that not only is it an Asian orchestra but it comes from our sister-city, Harbin, they seem to have been extremely well received.
- Culture City of East Asia Opening Ceremony and Symposium2月27日
Before the opening ceremony there was a pre concert that featured the musical stylings of the koto and shakuhachi performed by Kunpu no Oto. Then, to commence the ceremony, representatives from three cities and the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs greeted the crowd and posed for a commemorative photograph.
A keynote speech by Yoshiyuki Ooshita described the meaning and purpose of the Culture City of East Asia designation and what effects can be expected from it. Kozue Nakayama, Director of the Yokohama Culture and Tourism Bureau, announced the progress the city has made, and a panel discussion with the three city representatives was held. They exchanged valuable opinions on each city's strengths and ongoing projects.
A performing arts show featured guests from the three cities; it included a solemn performance by Niigata Gakuso, a gagaku music group made up of chief Buddhist priests from Niigata.
The opening ceremony concluded with a slideshow featuring messages written by local school students, exchange students in Niigata, and visitors to the event.
- The Opening Event for Culture City of East Asia 20152月27日
Niigata, the 2015 Culture City of East Asia, partnered with performance groups from Qingdao and Cheong-ju to host a special collaborative event. The handsome skills and beautiful sound of the groups ushered in an exciting opening for the program. Niigata's own included Japanese instrumental unit Oto-damashi and the Niigata Sohodori dancers. The impressive performance and sound enthralled the crowd.
Hilcrhyme, guest performers delivered stirring lyrics about their love for Niigata and the goal of Asian harmony, acting as a spokesperson for Niigata for the world. Negicco, as Goodwill ambassadors for Niigata as Culture City of East Asia 2015 also took to the stage and performed ‘Sunshine Nihonkai’, which includes lyrics describing the scenic beauty of Niigata.
Long lines of expectant fans formed before the event, showing the people's high expectation for the show. A survey after the event showed that 90% of those whom attended enjoyed the event, with comments like; "It was a thrilling, fantastic performance." "Seeing three different performing groups at once deepened my understanding of our various cultures differences and strengths." and, "I felt very close to our neighbors in China and Korea and realized that they truly are our nearest neighbors."
These are tremendous responses. The event was successful in promoting the goals of this project and enable the audience to experience and feel close to Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultures.
- Sohodori-Taisoh (Active Seniors Niigata Sohodori Project)4月～12月
We provided old people with opportunities where they could do exercise and find a new pastime actively through dance. They attended dance workshops at local community counters or health counters, and also danced with "Papaya Suzuki," a popular choreographer at "Niigata So Odori Festival."
At the event, old people performed in front of a large audience. By offering such an opportunity of pubic performance, we could appeal to both inside and outside of Japan. Cultural activities could contribute providing a feasible and sound answer for the problem of an aging society. It is important to work on their emotional, physical and social health as a social issue.
- Art Mix Japan 20154月25日～4月26日
It was the third year of this event and audience exceeded that of the previous year. The weather was fair, so this free outdoor performance was very successful.
The Culture City of East Asia Premium Stage was a tie-in event, part of the Culture City of East Asia program and featured performers from Korea, China, and Japan. At the finale, we saw the performers of three countries came together to perform "Sakura," a classic Japanese nursery rhyme. The event featured performing arts going back to Japan's roots, such as kabuki, kyogen, and dai-dengaku, as well as a collaboration piece of Noh performers and singers.
For the performance on the 25th, Hideki Togi took the stage for a performance that included his commentary. The final performance on the 26th featured an acoustic shamisen performance by Yoshida brothers, which the audience loved.
Other free performances at theaters and concert halls also proved popular.
- La Folle Journée de Niigata 2015プレ公演：4月26日 本公演：5月8日～10日
"Sub-theme: Passion -- Composers in Love"
La Folle Journée de Niigata is a music fest that features music everyone, from children to classical music fans, can enjoy!
This year, elements from China (the erhu, a traditional instrument) and Korea (pansori, a form of musical storytelling) were incorporated, creating an even more international program than before.
- Port City Niigata Spring Festival Symphony of Light & Movement20154月29日～5月10日
Sub-theme: Resonant Light
Port City Niigata Spring Festival Symphony of Light & Movement2015: Resonant Light was the second installment in this annual series. The Projection Mapping show at Minatopia featured footage based on the theme: Culture City of East Asia Niigata. A new addition this year was ‘laser lighting’ along with a fusion of light and video creating a wondrous mood. The waterways along the Bandai Bridge and Minato Sagan were also illuminated with light and decorative objects, enchanting the numerous visitors. For the projection mapping at the Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, video art based on the La Folle Journée de Niigata 2015 theme, "Passion -- Composers we Love" was used. A dance collaborative, Noism2 brought Lim Woobin, who is dancer-in-residence with Noism, for his first live performance in Japan. The entertainment continued with performances from a range of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean artists.
- Korean dancer-in-residence program5月2日～5月3日、8月22日～8月23日、12月11日～12月13日
Young choreographer competition, which is the most exciting and draws many future-promised dancers, was established in the Culture City of East Asia and Niigata Noism Award in November, 2014. Lim Woobin won the award then, and was invited to Niigata last year. He lived there from March to December 2015, and joined Noism 2. He joined four public performances as well as regular lessons and rehersals.
His invitation gave us a valuable opportunity to think about our idea for stage performances by observing a series of positive interactions for 10 months between young dancers who grew up and were trained in different cultural environments of Japan and South Korea.
- Niigata Jazz Street7月18日～7月19日
"Niigata Jazz Street" was a music event where guest musicians from all over East Asia, as well as many local musicians, played various styles of Jazz and other closely-related genres at local bars, restaurants, and other music venues. One-day pass holders could enter all venues freely. On the day of the event, Niigata was dubbed "a city of music" for the whole day. Jazz musicians from China and South Korea also joined the event this year and contributed towards this cultural exchange of music.
- “Culture City of East Asia 2015″: The Culture Week in Niigata8月2日～8月9日
In the atrium of NEXT21, there was an exhibition of famous cultural artifacts from two cities, Qingdao and Cheongiu, to introduce their cultures. For example, a water and ink-wash paintings from Qingdao and a reproduced "Jikji", the world's oldest metal printed text, and “Gyoo Bang Gong Ye (sewing and needle works)” from Cheongiu. Also, two cities set up exhibition booths in the event space of Niigata Festival to facilitate cultural exchange between them and local people. Artists from Qingdao showed walnut carvings and paper cutting, and practitioners from Cheongju served South Korean traditional tea and calligraphy artists performed KARI, Cheongiu style calligraphy. Moreover, entertainment groups from two cities performed acrobatics and K-Pop dance on the stage of the event space. Visiting groups of Qingdao and Cheongiu developped friendship with Niigata local people while experiencing culture of Niigata city through Dai Minyo Nagashi (folk dance by a large group of people) and fireworks viewing during Niigata festival.
- “I am the future” Japan-China- Korea exchange program Chorus Concert8月14日
As a part of the cultural exchange program of Culture City of East Asia 2015, children from Niigata, Japan, Tsingtao, China, and Cheongiu, South Korea joined a chorus group exchange program and sang a song, "I am the Future" with lyrics in Japanese, Mandarin and Korean. In the first part of the event, childrens choruses from each of the three cities performed in turn. Then, local children displayed some traditional performing arts to welcome the children from China and South Korea. Also, Ryu Koshino, a former leader of Moon troupe of Takarazuka Revue, gave a live performance. In the second part, the creators of the song (Ryohei Miyata, the president of Tokyo University of the Arts; Isao Matsushita, the vice-president of Tokyo University of the Arts; and Baku Yumemakura, a writer) talked about theme of the song. Then, three children's choruses sang the song while being accompanied by a full orchestra. For the performance's finale, the performers of the day joined the audience in singing "I am the Future" together.
- NIDF2015 – Niigata International Dance Festival8月21、23、28日、9月4日
During the Niigata Dance Festival, Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean dance companies presented their unique performance on three separate days. Daegu City Modern Dance Company of South Korea entertained the audience with their knowledge of contemporary dance, showing powerful movemnts to rhythmical tunes. On the other hand, City Contemporary Dance Company of Hong Kong, China intrigued viwers and got all of them excited by synchronizing their moves with the projected images. Noism 0 of Niigata, Japan appeared on the stage on the last day of the festival. Their overwhelming solo performace and impeccable group performance impressed an almost capacity audience and made a strong impact on the viewers, who did not stop applauding and even gave the performers a standing ovation. Also, a discussion program allowed the three art directors of the dance companies to discuss dance performance activities in their own countries and their ideals. It became a furuitful opportunity for them and others since they were able to consdier and discuss the future of theaterical activities and dance companies in Asia based on their cultural differences and commonalities.
Forty-two entries from a total of fourteen countries and areas were in the International Projection Mapping Competition whose theme was "Cross / Kosa." Sixteen entries from a total of seven countries and areas which passed preliminarry judging were presented. The grand prize went to "Hyakki Yagyo (Night Parade of One-hundred Demons)" by Neba Studio from Macau of PRC. The Audience Prize, which was decided by visitors' votes, went to "Cross of Culture - Ukiyo-E-Do -" by One, a mapper from Japan. In addition to the competitors, three guest creators from overseas presented their spectacular works, which intrigued a lot of visitors and other creators. On the stage, the guest creators talked about their love for their works and circumstances of projection mapping in various countries. Also, KOHARU SUGAWARA, a dancer and choreographer got nine-thousand viewers excited with her dance with sharp movements, which was syncronized with the images of projection mapping.
- Japan-China-Korea cultural exchange of dance and food9月19日～9月21日
The Jinan City Folk Dance Group and the Ulsan Traditional Culture and Art Group joined the "Niigata So Odori" on September 19 and 20. The Jinan group performed twice and the Ulsan group performed three times during the two days. Their performances added rich international flavor and spice to the event with their cultural uniqueness. On September 20, they presented a live cultural performance for the event "Chinese and South Korean Traditional Culture Stage "at the Konan Ward Cultural Center. About 350 people came to the event and it was widely considered successful: according to the survey after the performance, most of audience judged the event as "very good" or "good." From September 19 to 21, during the "Niigata So Odori," Chinese and South Korean food vendors opened at the event space on the second floor of Bandai City. They offered locals an opportunity to try Chinese and South Korean cultural foods.
- Culture City of East Asia 2015 Niigata – Closing Event11月23日
We presented the event for the grand finale of "Niigata, Culture City of East Asia 2015". We presented mainly cultural events and exchanges between Niigata, Qingdao and Cheongju over the last year. Many entertainment groups proudly representing Niigata appeared on the stage performing distinctive acts. They never lost the audience's attention using the magic of "Genuine Niigata Culture." Sachiko Kobayashi, the Cultural Goodwill Ambassador and Negicco introduced their superb performances. Chinese and South Korean entertaiment groups livened it up with their sophisticated traditional techniques and texture of sounds. Thanks to all perofromers, we could wrap up the year-long project.
According to the research by questionnaire, more than 90 percent of the audience commented, "they are very satisfied with the event" or "staisfied with it." We had a lot of positive feedback: for example, "every single performance was soulfull as well as superb"; "It was interesting to find the difference among Japanese, Chinese and South Korean cultures and the uniqueness of each"; and "I enjoyed rediscovering the richness and depth of Niigata culture." Based on a number of positive feedback, we can say that the event became a successful opportunity to let Niigata people learn about three cultures, as well as to become fond of and proud of their own local culture.