We were invited to join this project by Yoshimoto, Japan’s leading entertainment group, as content producer and scenographic consultant for an innovative experience inaugurating the new theatre at Cool Japan Park Osaka. Beyond multimedia expertise, we brought a gaijin (foreigner) perspective to the show’s creative evolution to ensure Keren’s appeal to a wide international audience.
“Keren” refers to the stunts and illusions of Kabuki theatre, and the show uses multimedia to reinvent these tricks in a fresh, contemporary way. Keren playfully merges traditional and popular music, dance, humour, swordplay and fight scenes, with winking references to Japanese cultural icons, from samurai and ninjas to yakuza and manga.
Actors are framed by on-stage screens that pass the action between the performers and content, creating a space where the audience can’t easily tell whether illusions are achieved live or with multimedia. This rich multidisciplinary collaboration drew the spirit and magic of Kabuki stagecraft into the present.