After the successful performance of “My Mother” January last year at KLPac, Ms. KIM Manri, Founder and Artistic Director of Performance Troupe TAIHEN, will be here again to present “Hutan Kenangan”. This is based on “Forest of Remembrance” premiered by Performance Troupe TAIHEN in 2005 in Osaka, Japan. In April, “Hutan Kenangan” will be performed again but together with Malaysian performers.
The Malaysian performers are from three institutions, namely Pusat Latihan Perindustrian & Pemulihan Orang Kurang Upaya (PLPP) Bangi, Persatuan Kanak-Kanak Spastik Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Spastic Centre), and Beautiful Gate Foundation.
“Hutan Kenangan” is a fairy tale on fairies that try to fight back the peaceful forest destroyed by the evil king, including some comical scenes. Casts were chosen from workshops held in July last year and they have been rehearsing weekly with getting support from volunteer staff. Ms. Kim will join the one month long intensive rehearsal here from early March. Audience can expect something new in their theatre experience through this production. This will be an interesting and meaningful piece for both children and adult.
This event is presented by KLPac, produced by The Actors Studio and The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur.
Date & Time:
6 (Fri) & 7 (Sat) April 2007 @ 8pm
8 (Sun) April 2007 @ 3pm
Pentas 2, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac)
Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Ipoh, KL
RM30, RM15 (Students, Disabled & JFKL Members)
KLPac box office 03-4047 9000
The Actors Studio Bangsar box office 03-2094 9400
For further enquiries, please kindly contact JFKL at 03-2161 2104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryani Abdullah’s Blog (one of the casts for Hutan Kenangan):-
The Actors Studio
The Actors Studio Malaysia was set up in 1989 by husband and wife team Joe Hasham and Dato’ Faridah Merican. The prime objectives of The Actors Studio are the presentation of Professional Theatre, the nurturing of the Performing Arts in Malaysia, establishing Malaysia’s first ever privately owned and operated Theatre spaces and engaging in cross cultural exchange within the region. Now, The Actors Studio is Malaysia’s prime theatre performance and arts destination, which operates at 1 venue in Kuala Lumpur and 1 in Penang.
Ms. KIM Manri
KIM Manri was born in 1953 as the younger daughter of KIM Honju, who was an excellent artist of Korean traditional dance and was active during the World War 2 in Japan. At the age of 3, she contracted polio, which have made her severely disabled since then.
In 1975, she started an independent living with a 24 hour attendance, which was the first case in Japan. She enthusiastically led anti-Eugenic ideology movements for 10 years.
In 1983, Performance Troupe TAIHEN was established, based on her idea that a unique beauty can be seen whenever a disabled body turns to expression. She is an artistic director, a performer and founder of the troupe. One or two pieces a year basis out of total 49 pieces, have been made public so far. She wrote and directed all of them.
Ms. KIM also holds some performances workshop for the disabled at concentration institution as well as for professional performers. Her method features the movement from the lying and sitting posture. She also holds workshops for training attendants or known as Kuroko – backstage staff. With these workshops, she radically proposed the rich diversity of the human beings.
TAIHEN, the first performance art group in the world by physically handicapped people, has been actively performed professionally since 1983 in Japan. Ms. KIM Manri, artistic director, has found that the disabled body has an expression that no one else can create. Their twisted and distorted bodies, which normally considered as ungainly, will be transformed into peculiar beauty.
TAIHEN is a troupe of physical performers deeply expressing their inner self. The performers’ mobile time is far from standard ability, but they crawl, wriggle, squirm, walk, run and jump unaided. However, they will be assisted by the backstage crews, called Kuroko, to appear onto or leave from the stage. Though their individual expressive line may not look straight nor look stable in any case, their inevitable movement is directly connected to one’s most inner life. In their creation, the audience can unite with the performers to sense and to experience the unity of microcosm (physical body) with the universe.
TAIHEN also enthusiastically grappled with the activity to connect art and welfare, which had few good experiences to meet each other. When the disabled people, who have limit chances, meet art by their own will, their potential expression would bloom only through the experience to contact with core of art. According to Ms. Kim’s idea, the project “Kochu-Ichimannen-Sai”, which made a piece with many amateur performers with disabilities chosen through audition proceeded every year from 1999 to 2001. This experience gave them the opportunity not only for art but also for the acceptance of themselves. It sometimes leads to their independent life.
The word “TAIHEN” is a deformation of the Japanese word “hentai” means QUEER. But Ms. KIM Manri ventured to use the word “Metamorphosis” to define “TAIHEN”.