On Tour with Lowo=Tar=Voga Vol. 3:
Room Market in Kyoto & Theatre Pochette in Kobe
Room Market - Space Alternative Gallery
Japan-Italy Kyoto Kaikan B1F
4 Yoshida Ushinomiya-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Tel: 075-752-0416/Fax: 075-752-2262
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Closed Wed.)
2-16-36 Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
Rental hours: 9:00-20:00
Capacity: Approx. 100 people
Equipment: Stage (5m x 5m), complete sound mixing/ lighting
system, piano, screen, etc.
Available for theatre performances, concerts, parties, speeches,
As I reported in the last installment, I have been accompanying
the Osaka theatre company Lowo=Tar=Voga on their performance
tour. For this third part in the series, I followed the group
to Kyoto and Kobe.
It was a major expedition - over three hours - to get from
Wakayama to Kyoto. The Space Alternative gallery was built
as an annex to a real-estate agency called Room Market, which
occupies the ground floor of the Japan-Italy Kyoto Kaikan in
Hyakumanben, an area near Kyoto University that is popular
with students. The concept of the place is interesting. Not
only does the venue have a regular apartment layout, the owners
had to struggle to provide a "living" atmosphere
that corresponded to a variety of values and needs, and escape
the real-estate image that made it difficult for visitors to
enter. The place itself, however, is really very stylish. This
and the properties I found listed in a housing pamphlet made
me want to move to Kyoto.
For the audience, who had beaten a path through a heavy downpour,
the performance was easy to watch in this space, which proved
to be just the right size.
Kobe was also far away. Around Shin-Kobe, famous for the foreign
residents' settlement, the streets were breathtaking with their
Christmas illumination. Theatre Pochette is an established
theatre that was built as an addition to a private residence
in 1983. It is known as a cultural center where, for some 20
years, performers and viewers have listened to each other breathe
in a space that seats 100. The theatre was created in the hope
that it would serve as a performance arena for young artists
and a resting place for them after they went out into the wider
world. This performance, enlivened by the lighting and other
theatre apparatus, was, as it were, the most "theatrical" I've
seen so far.
Both of these venues, which I visited for the first time in
the early winter of 2003, were very unique.
By chance, I was also reunited with two people in the process,
making this a truly joyous roaming experience.
*In the next installment, I will conclude this series with
one final performance report from another location.