Company East Returns to New York With BUDDHA, March 2 At La MaMa

By: Jan. 10, 2012

Tokyo's Company East returns to New York with the World Premiere of BUDDHA. Director and choreographer Kenji Kawarasaki's production, which blends traditional eastern techniques of Noh with modern western dance to produce culturally rich movement theater, begins performances on March 2 at The Club La MaMa ETC.

BUDDHA is an Oriental take on the Seven Deadly Sins that juxtaposes the biography of Siddhartha Buddha with the fever dream of a contemporary gay man. It is an aggressive, scandalous, spiritual journey based on the Buddhist ideas of love and death and the spirit of Zen.

The production incorporates multiple video projectors that will display both words and images, making the experience truly multicultural and accessible for Japanese and English speaking audiences alike.

The title role of BUDDHA will be played by Hiroshi Jin, an internationally acclaimed actor and dancer best known for his ground-breaking, gender-bending performances in roles including Lady Macbeth and Salome. The cast also includes Sho Tohno, Koide Yuji, Matsutaka Jin, Yoshifumi Seo, Yumi, Koichi Nakayama, and Chako with lighting by Nakayama Jin and video by Yoshiaki Takano.

Company East was created by Hiroshi Jin, Kenji Kawarasaki, and Yoshifumi Seo in 1990 to to foster international artistic and cultural exchange. Their production of Medea toured Greece in 1996 and became the first Oriental company to perform at the ancient ruins of Cyprus. It won Favorite Show in the Rarunaka Festival in 1997 and was once again invited to perform for the Japan Greece Friendship centennial in 1999. In 2002 the company toured to the Avignon Festival in France and The Edinburg Festival with Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, based on the novel by Mishima. Their 2004 production of Salome at the Edinburgh Festival earned Five Stars from The Scotsman newspaper. The company was last seen in New York in 2009 with Hamlet at La MaMa.

Company East's BUDDHA runs March 2 -11, Friday & Saturday at 10pm and Sunday at 2:30 PM. The Club at La MaMa ETC is located at 74A East Fourth Street (between Bowery and 2nd Avenue, accessible from the F & V trains at 2nd Ave). Running time: 70 minutes. Tickets are $20 / $15 for students & seniors, available at 212-475-7710 or

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