Japan Society Presents 416 MINUTES June 2

Japan Society Presents 416 MINUTES June 2

As part of its Spring 2011 Performing Arts Season, Japan Society proudly presents a first look at a new work-in-progress, 416 MINUTES, from the visionary multimedia company WaxFactory. On Thursday, June 2, join 416 MINUTES creator and director Ivan Talijancic for a short film screening and Q&A session during which the audience is invited to share feedback as part of a collaborative developmental process, as video from this new multimedia theater work is revealed. This presentation gives audiences a behind-the-scenes look at WaxFactory's groundbreaking designs and its approach to a brand new piece inspired by the imagination of Haruki Murakami. Screening begins at 7:30 PM at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street) and is followed by a Meet the Artists reception. This event is FREE and open to the public.

416 MINUTES is a multimedia work for the stage, created collaboratively by artists from Japan and Eastern Europe. This compelling piece shadows an actress whose escape from a film studio sets her on a course of chance encounters in the unsettling hours of the night when everything takes on a particularly eerie glow.

WaxFactory is a New York-based multidisciplinary performance group dedicated to exploring a multiplicity of theatrical visions. Its founding members have developed and continue to nurture a hybrid approach based on unconventional narrative styles, original dramaturgy, visual and physical rigor, technological experimentation and site-specific work. The company is committed to ensemble creations and international collaborations. Since its formation in 1998, WaxFactory has remained one of the most internationally active multidisciplinary groups to emerge from the New York downtown scene, creating performance, installation, film and video works featuring a highly innovative blend of physical performance, audio-visual, architectural and fashion design, and an integrated use of new media and technology. The company is steadfast in its commitment to creating works that bring together artists from the company's core group in New York and abroad. WaxFactory's current artistic directors are its founding members Ivan Talijancic and Erika Latta.

Perhaps best known for site-specific works created for a variety of unconventional locations in New York - a former cannon factory in the Long Island City (former site of the New York Center for Media Arts), an abandoned storefront in Times Square, the 250,000 sq.ft. industrial property of the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus - WaxFactory has also presented work in venues committed to presenting innovative, boundary-pushing work, such as the Performance Space 122, HERE, Abrons Arts Center, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, Soho Rep and New York Theatre Workshop and at festivals such as the undergroundzero, Prelude 08, Culturemart and NYC Fringe. The company's work has also been shown internationally at the ICA/Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), the Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), SommerSzene (Salzburg), OLTRE90 (Milan), FIT/Festival Internacional de Teatro (Caracas), Bologna 2000 / Cultural Capital of Europe, MESS (Sarajevo), Adelaide Festival and Cankarjev Dom (Ljubljana), among others. The company's works to date include SILENCE OF SNOW (1998), LULU (1999/2000), THE BLIND GARDEN (1999), MOLIERE'S MONSTER (2001), LADYFROMTHESEA (2001-2003), QUARTET (2002), CLEANSED (2003), ...SHE SAID (2005), 39 FRAMES (2006), X (2007), DELIRIUM 27 (2008), BLIND.NESS (2008-2010) and QUARTET v4.0 (2010), along with several other collaborative projects created and developed by WaxFactory's founders and produced by other companies in the U.S. and abroad.

Since the inception of the Performing Arts Program in 1953, Japan Society has introduced more than 600 of Japan's finest performing arts to an extensive American audience. Programs range from the traditional arts of noh, kyogen, bunraku and kabuki to cutting-Edge Theater, dance and music. The Program also commissions new works, produces national tours, organizes residency programs for American and Japanese artists and develops and distributes educational programs. "At once diverse and daring, the program stands toe to toe with some of the most comprehensive cultural exchange endeavors today" (Back Stage).

The current Performing Arts Season highlighted a variety of disciplines, from Ryoji Ikeda's spellbinding audiovisual concert datamatics [ver. 2.0], to renowned actor Yoshi Oida in Interrogations: Words of the Zen Masters, to a reading of the hit Japanese comedy Trance by Shoji Kokami (in English translation, directed by OBIE-winner Ken Rus Schmoll), to the annual Contemporary Dance Showcase, to traditional Japanese noh and kyogen theater presented by Kashu-juku Noh Theater and the dynamic J-techno pop experience of Hikashu & Tomoe Shinohara Live in Concert, as well as the upcoming Akiko Yano Solo: Revealing Her Magic (June 3).

On April 9, Japan Society presented CONCERT FOR JAPAN, a 13-hour festival of music and more, to benefit the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. CONCERT FOR JAPAN boasted dozens of performances, including gala blocks featuring performances by Philip Glass & Hal Willner, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, Ryuichi Sakamoto and M.O.D. Technologies featuring Bill Laswell, Gigi, Bernie Worrell, Hideo Yamaki and many others. Japan Society's CONCERT FOR JAPAN raised over $88,000 for disaster relief and recovery. This one-day event drew some 2,400 visitors to Japan Society and was watched by more than 200,000 viewers live on Ustream.

Japan Society will give half of all ticket and admission sales made March 14-June 30, 2011 to Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, established by Japan Society on March 12 to support organizations on the frontlines of disaster relief and recovery in Japan. One hundred percent of tax-deductible contributions to the fund go to these organizations. To date, $1,000,000 has gone to four Japanese nonprofits: the Tokyo Volunteer Network for Disaster Relief, JEN, Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC), and the Japan NPO Center. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.japansociety.org/earthquake.

Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

416 MINUTES takes place Thursday, June 2 at 7:30 PM.
This event is FREE and open to the public.
Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street, between First and Second Avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street).

For more information call (212) 832-1155 or visit www.japansociety.org.