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Kyoto Performing Arts Center

The Kyoto Performing Arts Center at Kyoto University of Art and Design targets as the object of its research activities the entire process of creating performance art. The center was created in April 2001 in order to foster a more organic connection between the sites of “creation” and “scientific research,” which previously had a tendency to take place separately from each other. The center carried out its activities with the support of a subsidy from the Academic Frontier Project for Private Universities until March 2009, and currently does so with the support of a new grant awarded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology starting from the 2009 academic year.

Kyoto Art Theater is comprised of a kabuki theater named ‘Shunjuza,’ and a multipurpose mini-hall named ‘studio21.’ The center’s purpose is to utilize this on-campus venue to hold theatrical performances and provide facilities for the research activities of university researchers, especially those belonging to the Department of Performing Arts at Kyoto University of Art and Design. It also aims to establish a network of research and creativity, encouraging communication between the actual sites where theatrical performances are created around the globe. The center accomplishes this by conducting joint research projects involving researchers and research institutions both within and outside of the university, in Japan and from abroad. It also aims to engage in collaborative activities with other centers of performance art creation in Japan and abroad.

In April of 2009 the Kyoto Performing Arts Center was renewed as a new institution incorporating the conventional theatrical office for planning and management within its premises. In addition to the already established trend of experimental performances, it was also decided to conduct here performances intended for a larger audience, so as to popularize drama among the general public. From the Japanese traditional theatrical forms to the pioneering stage expressions of the modern era, from the Asian dramatic entertainment to the Western avant-garde, acutely sensing the most forceful trends of performing arts in the current globalizing world, our center dynamically combines stage performances with theoretical analysis of the performing arts.

Just as before the center will continue to make experimental stage performances available as digital data, create publications with the fruits of its theoretical analysis, and conduct open discussions with researchers and experts. We are also planning to actively engage in feeding the fruits of our research back to the educational system by participation in courses of the Department of Performing Arts of the university and conducting joint cross-sectional projects as students and professors of the related courses of our graduate school.