Tag Archives: Japanese

BoOm BoOM!!

The Japanese Martial Art of drumming and dance that even has you become part of the show! Written by Jackie Dominguez

Out of all the performances I have gotten the opportunity to attend, Drum Tao is by far one of my favorite performances for multiple reasons. It was a performance that showed me that art has the ability to completely ease your mind away from your problems even if it’s just for a while.

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Metamorphosis: Salesman Turned Insect

Metamorphosis is Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novella, which tells the tale of a travelling salesman who is transformed into an insect. The performance took place in the Parco Theater in Tokyo and was made available through Digital Theatre Plus.

Written By: Zackarya Faci

The first thing that struck me about Metamorphosis is that it was performed in Japanese. The video was accompanied by English subtitles which undoubtedly helped me understand what was going on through the performance. This is the beauty of digital performances; we are able to enjoy works that we might not otherwise comprehend in person. The performance opened with Gregor Samsa elucidating who he was and giving background about the other characters. This is atypical from other performances, and it seemed like he will be narrating the story instead of acting in it.

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Metamorphosis: A Commentary on the Working Class

Metamorphosis is a play that is adapted from a novel by Franz Kafka. It was adapted by Steven Berkoff who also directed the production that I watched on Digital Theatre +. This version was performed by the Parco Theatre in Tokyo, Japan.

By Elena Grantcharski

The plot is about a salesman named Gregor who works very hard every day to support his family. From the very first scene, we learn that his job is very strict. He has to take a 5am train to work because if he is late he will be fired. On the next day, Gregor turns into an insect. He can hear his family trying to wake him up, he can understand them, but he cannot do anything to reply because he literally became an insect. The actor’s use of the body here was really impressive. He did not wear a costume of an insect. Instead, he contorted his body and made bug-like motions which were very effective in creeping me out but also impressed me on actually how much he looked at a bug at some points. While he struggles with his new reality, his boss comes to his home and interrogates his parents and sister on his absence, showing how absorbed Gregor’s life was by his job. 

An example of how the actor contorted his body to look like an insect.
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A Buggy Life: The Crazy New Life of Gregor

By Veronica Y Gonzalez
Play Preview
The Sister, Father, and Mother

Play Information

Metamorphosis is a Japanese play based on the novel by Franz Kafka. It tells the story of a salesman who works too much because he has to provide for his mother, father, and sister. Overnight, he is suddenly transformed into an insect. His life drastically changes after this. Not only does he lose his job, but his family treats him in a completely different way.

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“What if you turn into a bug”: The Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis is an ironic adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel directed by Steven Berkoff. It depicts a fantastic tale that a salesman turned into a bug one day, and his life is changed dramatically.

Written by Bingchen Li

“One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug” is the opening sentence from Franz Kafka’s masterpiece, The Metamorphosis. The director Steven Berkoff is a good storyteller that he successfully transforms the original into a show. As the curtain rises at the very beginning of the play, the whole stage is showed to the audience directly. There is only a framed structure at the center and 3 actors sit on the chairs. Those are all props used in the play. The main character is Gregor Samsa, a salesman who needs to travel a lot and around the nation to get more orders. He lives with his parents and his little sister, Greta. After a long day of hardworking, as usual, Gregor felt uncomfortable and went to the bed. However, when he waked up, he found that he turned into a bug. His life dramatically changed because of the metamorphosis.

Minimalist stage, only a framed stucture and chairs

Audiences could know the background from the beginning of the play that the Samsa family’s living expenses rely on Gregor’s work. Gregor needs to work hard to feed his families, such as his father’s cigar, his mother’s clothes, and his sister’s violin classes. Gregor does not show up for breakfast and late for work because he turns into a bug. We can notice that when Chief Clerk comes to his home, his parents and sister treat Chief like he is the dearest guest. It all because Gregor’s salary is the only income for his family, and that is why his boss is so arrogant.

Good use of light and shadow to express depressed atmosphere

In addition, people’s attitudes are other details that we should pay attention to. Before his transformation, his father is proud of his son, and his sister thinks he is the best brother in the world. Gregor’s boss treats him like cattle. However, after his transformation, people’s attitudes changed hugely. His father hits Gregor by an apple. His mother does not want to feed him and is fear to face him. Greta loved his brother at the beginning, but when she found Gregor was worthless to her, she suggested her parents expel Gregor. The reason behind the attitude changing is the Samsa family and his boss only care about their own benefit so that ignore the sympathy and relationship between people.

The actor tries to perform an insect with vivid body language

Compare to watch the play in person, I prefer a recorded online performance. Audiences could notice more details through close-ups, such as facial expressions and body language. Gregor’s fingers trembled just like antennas of an insect. There are no props in the show but three chairs, so actors pretend their hands are forks and knives to eat. In addition, Gregor’s room is a framed structure, or from my perspective, more like a cage. It is a metaphor to express Gregor’s life. Before the transformation, he worked to feed his family. He was chained by the family. After becoming a bug, he was locked in the room, waiting to be fed.

All in all, this is a really impressive performance, I highly recommend you to watch it during the time the whole world turned upside down. Be safe!

Metamorphosis: A transformation

The show Metamorphosis is based on a novella written by Franz Kafka first published in 1915. It tells the story of a salesman named Gregor transformed into a huge insect and how he struggled to get used to the new condition. The show was performed at the Parco Theater in Japan, and I watched it through Digital Theatre+ with English subtitles.

Written by Jiaxuan Meng

Gregor transformed into a huge insect
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A Museum of Blues

No morning blues this trip to the museum.

Written by Emily Reeter

I had another opportunity this week to trek around the Krannert Art Museum.  I got to explore the “Blue and White Ceramics: An Enduring Global Obsession”.  Immediately as I walked into this eggshell white room, I was overwhelmed by the array of different ceramics but all in this rich, beautiful Mediterranean blue.

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