“Mukashi, Mukashi” is a new work co-produced by Toronto’s CORPUS company and Osaka’s Kio company. The collaboration between CORPUS and Kio goes back many years. Kio has facilitated CORPUS’ tours throughout Japan with its signature pieces (Les moutons, A Flock of Flyers and Camping Royale) since 2010. Four years ago, the two companies decided to join forces and create a new work together.
Directed and written by CORPUS’ artistic director David Danzon, “Mukashi, Mukashi” explores two iconic characters of Western and Japanese folklore: The Wolf and the Crane. The wolf is a central figure in Western fairy tales with deep roots in western collective consciousness. Often portrayed as a dark figure, dangerous and not to be trusted, the wolf is mostly used to scare children from disobeying their parents or venturing alone outside the home. Its counterpart in the east is the crane. In contrast to the wolf, the crane symbolizes good fortune, loyalty and longevity. It also carries deep roots in Japanese folklore.
The meeting of the two animals in this work is an excuse to explore two contrasting cultures. The work uses traditional and contemporary Japanese art forms mixed with old and newer Western practices to offer new cultural perspectives, in form and in content.
As Mukashi, Mukashi will be presented here in Japan then in Canada, my aim is to introduce the poetic and intriguing world of Japanese folk tales to Canadian audiences, and the magical world of western fairytales to a Japanese audience, all with a CORPUS twist, fused with a cross-cultural sensibility.
This work was created with the cast. I would like to thank them for their hard work and creative input. The design and supporting team also contributed greatly to the artistic content and I thank them as well for their commitment and talent. Finally, a warm thank you to Kio for embarking on this creative journey with open arms, and for the Toyooka Theater festival for presenting this new work.
I hope you enjoy the show.
CORPUS artistic director and director of “Mukashi, Mukashi”