Music Lane Okinawa Rescheduled to February 20-21, 2021

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Following the recent declaration of State of Emergency for the central area in Tokyo, Japan, the Music Lane Festival Okinawa 2021 (Music Lane Okinawa) and Trans Asia Music Meeting 2021 has been rescheduled to February 20 and 21, 2021. According to a statement released by organizers, the decision to postpone the festival follows the recent rising cases of the COVID-19 in different parts of Japan. “Although Okinawa is not included in the State of Emergency, there are many artists and audiences participating from Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures. In addition, the spread of infection in Okinawa Prefecture is becoming more prominent again… We felt that pushing the festival to be held in these circumstances could cause inconvenience and trouble to the participating artists, audiences, and all the staff members.” The announcement was made formally last week to the Japanese audience. Originally slated for January 16-17, the Music Lane Okinawa was set to be the debut edition of the multina

Mahabharata B-War, Theater Review.

Photos courtesy of PETA.
Mahabharata is the longest known epic which consists of over 100,000 lines in 18 books. It's a complex tale of love, life, family, war, religion, philosophy, politics and culture.

Hiroshi Koike, an acclaimed artist from Japan, wishes to create harmony among different cultures using Mahabharata on stage. The Pan-Asia Mahabharata Project which started in 2013 in Cambodia can be listed as Koike's greatest achievements to date. This production will run until 2020 in different Asian countries. This time in Manila, the continuation of the first two chapters (Mahabharata B-War) hit the PETA Theater Center last December 2-3.

Mahabharata B-War is a melting pot of Asian senses. Hiring actors of different backgrounds and origins, Koike succeded in making the audience feel the very true essence of art. Intricate movements. Elaborate masks. Sophisticated costumes. Impeccable acting. Joy for those who understand theatre. Actors, masks and costumes from different nations in one stage play, how about that?

Be ready with a stiff neck though. Mahabharata B-War is in Nihonggo, Thai, Mandarin and a few lines in English and Filipino. There is a screen above the stage for the translation, which can be distracting as you wouldn't want to miss a single movement. They also tried to inject some Pinoy lines to lighten up some scenes. But this one was not necessary and failed to define humor.


Overall, the Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project's ambitious production must be experienced by every cultured Filipino. There may be no Pinoy touch in it (only a very few Pinoy phrases), but this play will make you feel what Asia is. Mahabharata B-War will also be shown in China, Japan and Thailand. The next chapters will be continued in Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore and South Korea in the next few years. The full length performance with all the chapters will be staged in Malaysia.

Verdict: A. To hell with the stiff neck, this is art.

Text by Aga Posadas. 

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