Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting 2023
2023.12.1 – 2023.12.17

Messages from the Organizers (2023)

Kazumi Tamamura

President, Kanagawa Arts Foundation

This year marks the third edition of “YPAM – Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting” since this event has been renamed. Once again, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the many people who have supported this event.

The Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting, which has established a high level of international recognition as one of the world’s leading performing arts platforms, aims to be a sustainable event based on the local community and focuses on “YPAM Fringe,” a program that has further developed as an opportunity for presenting works regardless of nationality or career.

In addition, with the freedom to travel to and from other countries finally granted, we will provide maximum support for performances in collaboration with overseas cultural organizations and artists. We will not only provide venues for performances, but will also work on this event as one of the host organizations joining forces of the theatre as a whole to make it a success.

In the midst of the still unstable global political situation, we sincerely hope that this event, which continues to pursue the possibilities of the performing arts, will provide a place for new encounters and exchanges between local people and arts and culture.

Seiichi Kondo

President, Yokohama Arts Foundation

One of the roles of the arts in society is to help build community. In particular, performing arts that are undertaken collectively play an important role in deepening the bonds between people and forming a common foundation for the community through the sharing of time and space between the creator and the audience.

In its third year as YPAM, the event will offer programs that are more actively connected to the local community of Yokohama, and the YPAM Fringe Society will be launched to promote exchange between the local community and people involved in the performing arts throughout the year. Shows will be presented not only in theaters but also in various other spaces usually not used for performances, and it is expected to further energize performing arts activities in the local community.

We hope that the internationality of YPAM will be combined with the creativity and regionality of Yokohama, and that the various effects of the power of the performing arts will spread far and wide as well as among local audiences.

Photo by Hideto Maezawa

Hiromi Maruoka

President, Japan Center, Pacific Basin Arts Communication
Director, Yokohama International Performing Arts Meeting

This will be the third iteration of the event since our transition from TPAM to YPAM. As the transition took place, the world went through a global panic, which imposed unprecedented restrictions on international exchange and performing arts, the two things we had been committed to. With the prospect that the experience and impact of having discovered the possibility of imposing—and accepting—such restrictions would remain long-term even if the restrictions would subsequently phase out, we did not cease to commission and present live performances at TPAM2021, YPAM2021, and YPAM2022. Commissioning and having the world premiere of OLTA’s ≪Nippon Ideology≫ which comprises six discrete chapters as this year’s YPAM Direction is the culmination of this period of experimentation for us. Furthermore, the work itself encompasses the potential of outgrowing the context to develop and multiply itself further in the future.

In the YPAM Fringe, we were able to sustain a fair number of registered performances in 2021 and 2022 despite limiting them to live performances taking place in the Yokohama/Kanagawa area. Though the call for the Fringe registration this year will continue until November 15th, as of September, we have confirmed a 30% increase in registrations compared to last year. The YPAM Fringe, as a place for spontaneous gathering of unrestricted expression, embodies the essence of YPAM as a performing arts platform, as much as YPAM Direction does. To enhance its continuity, we have kept the YPAM Fringe Center open all year round since last year as a meeting place for artists, presenters, and audiences involved in the Fringe. It is also our pleasure that many visitors have enjoyed the naturally grown brown rice and natural wines that we offer there. The opening of YPAM this year will mark the launch of the YPAM Fringe Society, a supporting organization for the Fringe, which we have been preparing for over the past few years. We hope that the Fringe provides an environment and services that enable artists not only to present their work but also to be inspired by other artists and build networks with professionals. 

YPAM Exchange will take place at Forum Minamiota (Gender Equality Center Yokohama South), a venue near the Fringe Center. The program will have a variety of symposia, meetings, and presentations, which are proposed and hosted by performing arts professionals in Japan and abroad. We are pleased to run the program for the first time at one of the three Gender Equality Centers in Yokohama (Totsuka, Azamino, and Minamiota), which are important institutions that pursue its long-term mission manifested in their name.

In the YPAM Joint Program that is delivered through our special cooperation with cultural organizations in Yokohama and overseas, we have the rare opportunity of showcasing four Italian contemporary dance works, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture. Also, Yokohama Noh Theatre’s program for promoting the tradition of Kyogen has newly been added to the program. 

Although the event will run during the hectic time at the end of the year, we sincerely look forward to your participation in our platform for lively expression of performing arts. I would like to close my greetings by expressing my sincere gratitude to all the participants and all those involved in the event.