home
performance
noh
nihon buyoh
direction/choreography
voiceover
film/tv
research
teaching
links

Direction & Choreography

The Little Mermaid
University of the Fraser Valley. By: Pam Gems (based on Hans Christian Andersen). Direction: Colleen Lanki.

A gorgeous version of the original tale that focuses on the Little Mermaid's personal choices and inner strength. Dark, humorous and full of fabulous physical scenes of shipwrecks and sea palaces. Using a large ensemble of student actors we created a world of BC Coast sea creatures, a three-headed Sea-Witch who inhabited the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and a contemporary West Vancouver "Palace" for a keel-boat racing prince. More Info: Photos of the show
Thread Hell
The University of Hawaii. Direction: Colleen Lanki. Written by: Kishida Rio. Translated by Tsuneda Keiko and Colleen Lanki.

The English language premiere of Japanese avant-garde playwright Kishida Rio's masterpiece Itojigoku . I had the glorious opportunity to be a guest artist at the U. of Hawaii in Spring 2013. The show was a manic and crazy ride - but ultimately won Po'okela Awards (Hawaii Theatre Award) for best costumes, lights, sound and overall production. See a video excerpt here.

. . . a mind-bending evening of surreal theatre expertly interpreted and performed - Scott Robertson, Hitting the Stage 16 April 2013.

Complex, metaphorical, confusing and powerful . . . - Nicolyn Charlot, KaLeo April 2013.
Shadow Catch
Produced by Pro Musica Vancouver. Composers: Jennifer Butler, Dorothy Chang, Benton Roarke, and Farshid Samandari. Libretto: Daphne Marlatt. Direction: Colleen Lanki. Musical Direction: Marguerite Witvoet.

A new chamber opera with noh influences! Set in Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver, a young runaway encounters 4 spirits of people with connections to the history of Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood. The libretto was built with noh structure, and I used elements of noh movement pattern and gesture as well as the space-time concept of "ma." But more than that, the opera was a tale of a young man's coming to face himself through meeting the spirit of "place" and confronting his fears. More Info: Shadow Catch Blog
EN: a raincity street dance
TomoeArts and Dancing on the Edge Festival Concept and choreography: Colleen Lanki

Written by: Kishida Rio. Translated by Tsuneda Keiko and Colleen Lanki. The English language premiere of Japanese avant-garde playwright Kishida Rio's masterpiece Itojigoku . combining movement, electronic and acoustic music, text and projections. The choreographies are based on Japanese classical dance forms/aesthetics, and the newly created soundscape incorporates the shakuhachi (traditional Japanese bamboo flute). Full stage projections add to the uncanny world of the dreams. More Info: Tomoe Arts. Read about the show in The Georgia Straight.
The Sardine Seller's Net of Love
Direction: Laurence Kominz. Choreography: Colleen Lanki.

Ths was the English-language premiere of MISHIMA Yukio's kabuki masterpiece. A brilliant comedic piece performed regularly in Japan, this version was produced by Willamette University (Oregon) and featured senior and graduate students.
EN (circle/fate)
Concept and choreography by Colleen Lanki. Music Composition & Performance by Eien Hunter-Ishikawa, Design by Yulia Stern. Featuring dancers: Tami Mukai and Maki Komori.

Part of LIVE's Procession of Performing Circles curated by Glenn Lewis. EN (circle/fate) is about the circular nature of lives, relationships and history. It was created as a short dance for a public art event in which six Vancouver groups come together to light up a few blocks of the Downtown Eastside with music and performance. EN combines Japanese classical dance influenced movement, taiko percussion (played on large plastic tubs!) and projected photographs of local faces.
Ten Nights of Dream
Created with Alcvin Ramos and Matthew Romantini. With projections by Craig Alfredson, David Kim, Yulia Shtern, and Ana Louisa Espinoza Vaca.

Concept and choreography by Colleen Lanki. Composition by Alcvin Ramos. Direction by Matt Romantini. A full-length dance-theatre piece based on Sôseki Natsume's haunting series of tales Ten Nights of Dream combining movement, electronic and acoustic music, text and projections. The choreographies are based on Japanese classical dance forms/aesthetics, and the newly created soundscape incorporates the shakuhachi (traditional Japanese bamboo flute). Full stage projections add to the uncanny world of the dreams. More Info: Tomoe Arts. Read about the show in The Georgia Straight.
A Beautiful Woman is an Unfortunate Life
Written by: William Maranda. Directed by: Colleen Lanki.

For MyTheatre Company, October 2008. Starring Minh Ly and Mary Phan. A lovely little comedy - part farce and part fable - to which I added a taste of jingju (Beijing Opera). The show involved some stylized physicality, wonderful percussion (by Nicholas Jacques) and beautiful sets and costumes by Yulia Shtern.

Colleen Lanki...delivered this comedy with a flair only an expert in Asian theatre could execute. Ed Farolan. Review Vancouver October 2008.

The Eighth Land
Written by: William Maranda. Directed by: John Wright.
Movement/Choreography by: Colleen Lanki.


For Pi Theatre at PerformanceWorks, May 2008. An environmental tragedy set on Easter Island...with an array of Gods and Goddesses and an amazing chorus of Flies and Fleas. Music by Pepe Danza. Some reviews:

...Colleen Lanki's choreography provides the evening's most exciting moments. Colin Thomas. Georgia Straight 22 May 2008.

...beautifully choreographed by Colleen Lanki. Jerry Wasserman. Vancouver Plays May 2008.

The Komachi Variations
Co-created with Sachiyo Takahashi

A dance-theatre piece combining Japanese classical dance, noh flute, voice, and text. The Komachi Variations consists of five orignal choreographies exploring the life of the brilliant 9th century court poet Ono no Komachi. The show has been performed at The Dance Centre in Vancouver, Canada, and as part of the International dance and Theatre Festival at Theatre X(kai) in Tokyo Japan.
The Water Station
Written by: Ôta Shôgô
Co-directed with Sachiyo Takahashi


Ôta Shôgô's 1980s masterpiece is a play that explores the human voyage through a landscape of desolation. It is a play without words - an embodiment of Ôta's "living silence." Performed at the Great Northern Way Campus as part of a performance/design course which focussed on the aesthetic principles of noh: ma, jo-ha-kyû, and yûgen.
MORAL
Written by: Kisaragi Koharu
Co-translated with Tsuneda Keiko


This is Japanese playwright Kisaragu Koharu's 1980s expressionist masterpiece. The production was the first time any play of Kisargai's has been produced outside Japan, and the first publication of any of her work in English. MORAL blended realistic acting techniques with stylized movement and vocalization. Direction of the piece relied heavily on the use of Viewpoints.
Bloodline
Written by: Eunsook Kim, Khetphet Phagnaysay, Norman Muñoz, Chihiro Hosono, and Colleen Lanki

A collaboratively written and created piece dealing with culture, heritage, and blood. The piece combined percussion, projections and a variety of performance techniques. It was performed in: Korean, Laotian, Japanese and English.
The Lone Tusker
Written by: K.N. Pannikar

The Lone Tusker is South Indian playwright and director K.N. Panikkar's exploration into the individual in society. The lead charatcer is a kutiyattam actor who leaves society to explore the forest, and ends up building a new "house" with the wild spirits of the forest. This production invoved actor/dancers from a variety of disciplines: hula, tahitian dance, and bharatnatyam and explored the splitting or connection of voice and body, having two separate actors embody either the voice or body of a single character.
Michiyuki: The Journey
Written by: Colleen Lanki

A short interdisciplinary piece incorporating dance, spoken word (Nerida Rand and Lani Hansen), cello (Walter Roberts), and video projections (Kanazawa Makoto). The story follows a woman on a journey back to her lover, to find the journey was what was important for her to really know herself. Performed at Kyozon, Tokyo. A Kee Company production.
Facets
Created by: Colleen Lanki
Video Poems by: Senou Toru


Movement and exquisite projected text capture four aspects of one woman: The Mother, Ire (the fighter), Marga (the wise woman), and Princess. Performed with Chin Daiying and Aoyagi Atsuko. Performed at plan B in Tokyo. A Kee Company production.