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(photo by Takuma Uchida)

Desdemona tells her dark tale in Satoshi Miyagi’s Mugen Noh Othello (photo by Takuma Uchida)

Japan Society
333 East 47th St. at First Ave.
January 11-14, $35
Under the Radar continues through January 15

In September 2011, general artistic director Satoshi Miyagi and the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center sold out Japan Society with their international success, Medea, a unique reinterpretation of Euripedes’s classic tragedy. They now return with a retelling of Shakespeare’s Othello, being presented as part of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival and concluding Japan Society’s “NOH-NOW” series, which previously featured Luca Veggetti’s Left-Right-Left, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Rikyu-Enoura, and Siti Company’s Hanjo. The Tokyo-born Miyagi, who has also directed versions of Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for SPAC as well as Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and many Japanese dramas, including Mishima’s The Black Lizard, transforms the Bard’s tale of jealousy and pride into a mugen noh, a story told by a spirit, in this case Desdemona, the wife of Othello, a successful general deceived by his ensign, Iago, who seeks revenge on Othello for promoting Iago’s rival, the soldier Cassio. The ninety-minute show, performed in Japanese with English surtitles, is dark and ominous, with a script by Sukehiro Hirakawa, chanting, live music composed by Hiroko Tanakawa, beguiling costumes and masked figures designed by Kayo Takahashi, and lighting by Koji Osako. The company consists of Kazunori Abe, Yuya Daidomumon, Asuka Fuse, Maki Honda, Sachiko Kataoka, Yukio Kato, Kotoko Kiuchi, Micari, Keita Mishima, Fuyuko Moriyama, Yoneji Ouchi, Yu Sakurauchi, Junko Sekine, Haruyo Suzuki, Ayako Terauchi, and Soichiro Yoshiue. Also part of Japan Society’s 110th anniversary, Mugen Noh Othello is scheduled for only four performances, January 11-13 at 7:30 and January 14 at 4:00; opening night will be followed by a reception with the artists, while the January 12 show will be followed by a Q&A. In addition, SPAC will be teaching a Theater Technique workshop on January 13 at 1:30 ($45), focusing on body exercises required for its unique voice production.

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