direction & choreography
nihon buyō & noh
| (Digital) Lady M-Power
TomoeArts. Created by Kanon Hewitt, Hiromoto Ida and Colleen Lanki
A digital dance-theatre project based on the letter scene of Shakespeare's Macbeth. More information and links to the video.
Unit-R & RioFest 2019
This show was part of an annual festival in Tokyo dedicated to Kishida Rio's life and work. I was honoured to perform with Unit-R, a company run by a longtime actor of Rio's company, Hina Ryōko, and her husband Suwabe Hitoshi. The company featured amazing veteran angura actors, and Unit R Website in Japanese.
| Four Letters
Part of my research on Kishida Rio led me to work on this bilingual performance of Rio's 1986 unpublished play. I performed with three of the original cast. An amazing experience.
| Zahdi Dates and Poppies
Theatre Nohgaku and Boston University
This new noh play, written by Carrie Preston, tells the story of a fighter pilot in the Gulf War who is dealing with PTSD. By listening to the ghost of an insurgent he killed, he comes to better understand the horrible effects of war. I played both the soldier and the insurgent's wife. The music, by David Crandall, combined western and noh style singing. An excerpt of the show.
| Weaver Woman
TomoeArts. Created and performed by Maki Yi, Lan Tung, Matthew Romantini and Colleen Lanki
This piece of dance-theatre was based on O-Chonghui's haunting short story Chingnyo (Weaver Woman). Combining original music on erhu, cello and percussion, spoken text and dance, it told the story of a woman in a window waiting for man who may never arrive...but crosses the river to find what she has in fact been looking for. More info on the show.
"a visual and aural extravaganza" - Beyond YVR.
| Voices of Hiroshima
TomoeArts. Created and performed by Colleen Lanki, Eien Hunter-Ishikawa, and Alcvin Ryūzen Ramos
TomoeArts was commissioned by the Museum of Anthropology to create a performance connected to their exhibition of photos hiroshima by Ishiuchi Miyako. We constructed a voice and music concert of original and traditional music, excerpts of writings about the city of Hiroshima, the creation of the atomic bomb, the flight of the Enola Gay, and stories of the witnesses of the events of August 6, 1945. It was remarkable to perform this material in the Great Hall of the MOA. It was one of the most gratifying performances - with intense connection to the other performers, the audience and the material. More info on the show.
| EN: a rain city street dance
TomoeArts. Choreographed and directed by Colleen Lanki.
In July 2011 I choreographed and performed in a this full length piece which was presented by the Dancing on the Edge Festival. We performed in the courtyard of the Firehall Arts Centre amidst broken concrete, large weeds and a fractured wooden fence. EN: a raincity street dance was about community, relationships and human interaction. We used projections on both the large courtyard walls and on white umbrellas held by the 3 performers. I got to use the umbrella as a prop, a mask, and a dancing partner! The photos were all taken by members of the neighbourhood, commissioned through Hope in Shadows . More info on the show.
| Crazy Jane
Produced by Theatre Nohgaku. Written and directed by David Crandall.
I played the shite (lead/title) character in this production at The Alvina Krause Theatre in Bloomsburg, PA. The show is based on a series of poems by William Butler Yeats, and features noh music blending with folk melodies and Gregorian chant. I spent about an hour chanting and dancing in the most powerful mask I have ever encountered. This is a glorious play of madness and loss. It was an honour to have been able to play Jane. (yes that is me in the mask). A Theatre Nohgaku production.
| Ten Nights of Dream
TomoeArts. Co-created and Performed by Colleen Lanki (choreography), Alcvin Ryūzen Ramos (composition), Matthew Romantini (direction), with projections by Craig Alfredson, David Kim, Yulia Shtern, and Ana Louisa Espinoza Vaca.
A full-length dance-theatre piece based on Sōseki Natsume's haunting series of tales Ten Nights of Dream combining movement, electronic and acoustic music, text and projections. Full stage projections add to the uncanny world of the dreams. More Info: TomoeArts. Read about the show in The Georgia Straight and some video excerpts.
| Gods, Demons and Yogis
Shakti Dance, Society.Vancouver East Cultural Centre and BC Tour
Bharatanatyam, music, storytelling... I am the storyteller in the group - recounting three hindu myths with Anusha Fernando dancing. Performances in October 2007 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre. BC tour in Spring 2009: Victoria, Salt Spring Island and Vancouver. More Info: Shakti Dance Society.
| The Komachi Variations
Co-created and Performed by Colleen Lanki (choreography) and Sachiyo Takahashi (composition)
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.
Written and Created by: Colleen Lanki
Doris Baloo is on a quest for happiness...the ultimate carriot dangling in front of her nose: the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect nose, the perfect man... She uses every trick in her blue suitcase to get what she thinks she wants, but is always chasing rainbows. Premiere solo perfomance at Gallery Gachet, Vancouver. Extended bilingual version Ibuki, Tokyo, performed with Lei Sadakari.
Written by: John Oglevee, Kanazawa Makoto, Colleen Lanki, and Shibata Eriko
Directed by: Takeuchi Akiko
What is "home"? Is it truly "where the heart is?" Home follows four peoples' quest for home: a salaryman who runs away from home with his goldfish, an architect who is so busy with aesthetics she loses the humanity, a young woman on an impossible apartment search, and a deliveryman with a parcels addressed to a number of "homes." Performed bilingually with a movement and voice ensemble of 11 actors. Original music composed and performed by Miyake Haruna. A Kee Company production. Performed at Theatre X(kai) Tokyo.
From a novel by: Mizukami Tsutomu
Directed by: Suzuki Kanichiro
I was a guest artist in the Tokyo production and Japan tour of this premiere by Gekidan Bunkaza, a Japanese shingeki company that has been producing plays since the 1930s. I played Cathy, an American woman who was searching for her mother in a small town in Japan. She finds the real meaning of kokyō - her hometown or place of her blood - and catalysts others to do the same.