An international collaboration between artists of Japan and Malaysia

Artistic Director ? HIROSHI KOIKE of the famed PAPPA TARAHUMARA from Japan

Performers ? Anne James, Elaine Pedley, Marion D’ Cruz, Jerrica Lai, Kiea Kuan Nam, Lee Swee Keong, Makie Sekiguchi, Makoto Matsushima, Mao Arata, Michael Voon, Shafirul Azmi Suhaimi, Sharip Zainal & Wei Jun


The relationship between the cutting-edge Japanese theatre group Pappa Tarahumara and Malaysia goes back to the year 2000, when the company first performed their critically-acclaimed Spring Day at Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur. In conjunction with the performance, a workshop was held at The Actors Studio Academy with over 50 Malaysian performers participating. Even though the workshop was only held over one night, it was a great success.

The following year, due to the positive feedback and popular demand, Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur (JFKL) invited Five Arts Centre and The Actors Studio to co-organize another series of workshops by Pappa Tarahumara. In February 2002, Artistic Director Hiroshi Koike returned to KL with 3 top performers from his company for an illuminating 5-day workshop.

After this second round of workshops, the idea to create a production from these exchanges was mooted by the organizers and Hiroshi. Subsequently, JFKL and Five Arts Centre planned another series of workshops in December 2002 at The Actors Studio Box, and 5 performers among the participants were selected for the production. Auditions were also held in March 2003, where Hiroshi selected another 5 performers.
Where are we heading? What is beyond it? and… Who are we ?

The arrows will lead you to the adventures of imagination. Strange world… Stretched time… Everything’s uncertain there.

Spring in Kuala Lumpur talks about love relationships, fate, memory, sex, life &death. Every element on stage is an intimation. What will you find in this chaos?

Japan’s leading director, Hiroshi Koike will bring you to the unique, strange world.

Performers from his world-renowned theatre company Pappa Tarahumara, will work with 10 of Malaysia’s most dynamic actors and dancers in this breathtaking synergy of dance, theatre and multimedia.

The Malaysian performers participating in this international collaboration include Anne James, Elaine Pedley, Marion D’ Cruz, Jerrica Lai, Kiea Kuan Nam, Lee Swee Keong, Michael Voon, Shafirul Azmi Suhaimi, Sharip Zainal and Wei Jun, as well as Japanese dancers Makoto Matsushima, Mao Arata and Makie Sekiguchi from Pappa Tarahumara

17 ? 20 Sept 2003
21 Sept 2003
The Actors Studio Bangsar
Bangsar Shopping Centre

Tickets @ RM35 for adults / RM15 for JFKL members and Students
Recent productions of Pappa Tarahumara include:


“I Was Born” Work-in-progress (Theatre Tram / Tokyo)
“ISLAND ? ? “ISLAND” invited by Program “Journey 2000” (Shouson Theatre / Hong Kong)
“SPRING DAY “invited by Singapore Arts Festival (Victoria Theatre / Singapore)
“SPRING DAY” (Istana Budaya National Theatre / Kuala Lumpur)
“SPRING DAY~from the field of yellow flowers” (Art Sphere / Tokyo)

“I Was Born” invited by Ping Fong Theater Festival ’00(Social Education Hall / Taipei)
“I Was Born” (La Maison de la Culture de Japon / Paris)
“AO” (Setagaya Public Theatre / Tokyo)
“ISLAND” (Kameari LIRIO Hall / Tokyo)
“Love Letter” Australia, South-east Asia tour (The Evelest Theatre / Sydney, National Theatre / Melborune, Traders Hotel / Yangon, Slakarta Open Air Theatre / Solo,) invited by Art Summit Indonesia 2001 (TIM Hall / Jakarta)
“WD-So What?” Work-in-progress studio performance (Morishita Studio / Tokyo)
“WD-The Sound of Future SYNC.” (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum / San Francisco)
“WD” (Setagaya Public Theatre / Tokyo)


“Birds on Board” (Capio Hall / Tsukuba, Hoam Hall of Performing Arts / Seoul, Kyungsung University Concert Hall / Pusan, Setagaya Public Theatre / Tokyo)
“SHIP IN A VIEW” invited by Venezia Biennale 2002 (Teatro Piccolo Arsenale/Venice)
“The Sound of Future SYNC.” (New National Theatre Tokyo / Tokyo)>


“Blue Brain Bull” (The Suzunari / Tokyo)
“SHIP IN A VIEW” (Metropolitan Art Space / Tokyo)


Click to read Beyond Borders: An Interview with Hiroshi Koike

Hiroshi Koike studied sociology in Hitotsubashi University, Japan. After working as a TV director, he established Pappa Tarahumara in 1982. Since then, he has written and directed numerous internationally acclaimed pieces for his company, and from 1996, he has also explored many collaborations with various artists from all over the world.

He has also been a director of the Koike Hiroshi Performing Arts Institute since 1995, as well as the chairman of The Asian Performing Artists Forum in Okinawa and the director of the Tsukuba Cultural Foundation since 1997.

Since its foundation in 1982, the company Pappa Tarahumara has offered unique spectacles under the direction of Hiroshi. Their work is characterised by its oriental sense of time and motion. Performers, stage objects, music, lighting, and costume all play equally important roles in their productions, and it is when all these elements become one that the spectacle starts generating its own poetry.

Pappa Tarahumara productions try to liberate themselves from “meaning”, leaving members from the audience free to control their own imaginations. At present, in order to achieve a universality that transcends national borders, Pappa Tarahumara hopes for an interchange of ideas among artists from all over the world.

SPRING IN KUALA LUMPUR: Performers Profile

Anne James is a much respected actor and dancer who has been performing for 28 years. She was most recently seen onstage in the Five Arts Centre production of 7 Ten.

She has appeared in many productions such as The Prometheus Project (New York), The Cord, The Sandpit, Antigone, Honour, Family, Those Four Sisters Fernandez, Relatively Speaking, Deconstructing Medea and Invitation to Treat (Singapore), as well as in the dance productions Playground, Dance Tonpu II, Alter Art and Let Me Speak!

Her directing credits include The Hour of the Dog, Mergers & Accusations and The Reluctant Saint. Anne is also a member of Five Arts Centre, and she teaches voice and acting at UiTM.

Elaine Pedley is a first class honours graduate in Performance from University of Malaya. Dancing from a very young age, she is now a professional dancer, choreographer and actor. Her many performances include The Reluctant Saint, The Trees, Playground, Nusantara, Opera Uda dan Dara, Curfew!, Survival, Musical Chairs (Raise the Roof Festival), Family (Festival der Geister, Berlin), Manchester United and The Malay Warrior (2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival), and Cameronian Arts Awards winner for Best Play Spilt Gravy on Rice (Malaysia and Singapore).

Elaine conducts dance and drama workshops and works with young people, having worked with Five Arts Centre’s Teater Muda programme. She has also just finished a telemovie with Pustaka Cipta. For kicks, she spends her free time working at a leading edge international aviation consultancy.

Jerrica Lai has worked in theatre for the past 9 years and is now one of the most sought-after performers in KL.

Her stage appearances include Savages, My Grandmother’s Chicken Curry &…, The Merchant of Venice, Lina & Lijah, Tea, Overlapped, The Vagina Monologues, Manchester United and the Malay Warrior (2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival), The Girl with the Almond Eyes & Other Stories (London) and most recently, 7 Ten.

She has also taught theatre to young people with many different organisations, including Shelter for Girls, Kiwanis Foundation, The Actors Studio Academy and in Five Arts Centre’s Teater Muda and Taman Medan Community Arts Project. Jerrica is also the newest member of Five Arts Centre.

Kiea Kuan Nam first discovered his talent and interest in dancing during his university years. He became a member of The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Kwangsi Dance Troupe from 1997 to 1999, before joining RiverGrass Dance Theatre and Nyo-ba & Dancers. In 2001, he formed the 515 Workshop dance company with 4 friends, performing and choreographing in 5 Dancers 8 Dances and Journey. He has also performed in Rashomon, the Chicken Parts series and at the Cameronian Arts Awards.
Makie Sekiguchi studied drama at Tama Art University, Japan, where she entered the Performing Arts Institute led by Hiroshi Koike and subsequently joined Pappa Tarahumara. She also started performing as a Hawaiian singer in 1999 and has performed in a number of events. In autumn 2001, she formed a unit with Tomoko Kondo and produced a solo performance under the title Monthly Makie Sekiguchi.
Makoto Matsushima graduated from the Arts Department of Nippon University, Japan. Other than participating in every production of Pappa Tarahumara as one of the main performers, he works as a performance artist in Japan and overseas. Amongst his most prominent work in Japan include his solo piece Red Soil ? Plastic, producing Kyoku with a group of artists and directing and appearing in the twentieth anniversary performance of the Hara Art Museum called Debris of Heaven.
He has also participated in many productions while staying in Hong Kong for a few months every year, such as choreographing and appearing in RAVE starring Kelly Chan, and starring in 2001: A Hong Kong Odyssey. In summer 2000, he stayed in Germany by himself for a month and a half to take part in the Festival of Vision. He has been expanding his sphere of activities in Europe since then.

Mao Arata is a graduate of Nippon Sport Science University, Japan. She started learning modern ballet when she was a child and has studied under Kahoru Iku. She joined Pappa Tarahumara in 1997 and in the same year, she started creating her original pieces. She is actively engaged in creating solo dance pieces and collaborations with artists from other fields (musicians, object creators and sculptors). She also participates in regular performances given by NEWS, which is a dance unit made up of female performers of Pappa Tarahumara.

Michael Xavier Voonrecently returned from facilitating workshops in Texas and Colarado, USA. With a passion for movement in all facets of the performing arts. Michael is an educator, choreographer, actor, performer, director and digital visual artist with works featured in USA, France and Australia. Past productions include Diaries in Solo (Dallas), Seven Deadly Sins according to Mahatma Gandhi, Survival,
The Merchant of Venice, Hip Hopera, My Wok, Dances of the World, Playground, Cafe Teh or Buto, KL-KO
and The Storyteller. Michael is a graduate of Mesa State College, Colorado and currently teaches at CENFAD (Centre for Advanced Design) in KL and facilitates various workshops nationally and abroad.

Shafirul Azmi Suhaimi was born in Sabah, and he is the son of established choreographer Suhaimi Magi. Shafirul danced with Lembaga Kebudayaan Sabah and Badan Kesenian Kedah, performing in England, Scotland, France, Indonesia, China and Thailand before enrolling in Akademi Seni Kebangsaan (ASK). He has been involved in theatre productions such as Antara, Ronggeng Rokiah, Gerak Angin, The First Mydance Festival, Langkah Baru and Jamming the Box.

For ASK, he has danced and choreographed innumerable traditional and contemporary dance performances for the TARI series, Jendela, Gelombang Baru, JAMU and theatre productions including Bangsawan and Mak Yong. He performed in CURFEW! choreographed by Judimar Monfils and produced by Five Arts Centre, and is the principal dancer in the 2003 production of AWAS! by Joseph Gonzales for ASK Dance Company and Cross Roads Dance Ensemble.

During his period of study leading to a Diploma in Dance, he conducted research on the traditional dance of the Malay Cocos community in Tawau, Sabah. He has participated in international study programs and workshops at Institut Kesenian Jakarta, Indonesia and LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore. He is currently a dance tutor at ASK, works with several colleges and institutions in Kuala Lumpur and is a freelance performer.

Weijun, 24, completed his Bachelor of Arts, Dance Degree in 2001 at Queensland University of Technology, School of Dance, Australia. He is a multidisciplinary artist who contributes not only as a dancer, choreographer and teacher but also as a singer, songwriter, performing artist, graphic designer and sound engineer. As a dancer he is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, merengue and salsa. Weijun is currently an artiste-in-residence at Sutra Dance Theatre.

Weijun’s first major full-length solo Sinful Legs Sacred Body premiered at in July 2002, and was nominated for The Cameronian Arts Awards 2002 for Best Solo Dance Performance and Most Promising Artist.

Highlights of 2003 were Re: Lady White Snake 2003 (Singapore and Malaysia), RIUH! A Celebration of Malaysian Performing Arts, Visitations, SOUND/WAVE (Japan), IF-THE FACES (music, dance and choreography), Rite Of Spring (choreographed by Ileana Citaristi) and Banjir.

Weijun was also listed in Vmag as one of the Ten Most Wanted New Male 2003.

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