Coinciding with this month’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo, the Tokyo 2020 Nippon World Festival ONE (Our New Episode) – a virtual showcase of theatre, art and music celebrating idiosyncratic talents. The virtual extravaganza kicks off just two days before the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony on August 24 – and anyone can participate for free wherever they are.
As part of the official program of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the Tokyo 2020 Nippon World Festival One shines a spotlight on artists from minority backgrounds, including those from multicultural backgrounds or with physical disabilities, as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+. Actress Chizuru Azuma, director and artistic producer of the festival, described the project as the culmination of her 29 years of working with a melting pot of unique talent in entertainment and philanthropy.
The main event of the festival – named the Mazekoze Island Tour – is created to look like a virtual tour of an exotic island. Your stewardess for the tour is one of Tokyo’s top drag queens, Durian Lollobrigidawho is there to help explain what each of the nine “islands” has to offer.
Each island has a different theme and a corresponding set of events to stream each day. The Island of Musa, for example, is a virtual museum featuring works by fashion photographer Leslie Kee and children’s author Kanayo Sugiyama. Other exciting islands include Rainbow Island, which will feature queer artists and performers who use their art to promote equality for sexual and gender minorities.
On the island of Chimugukuru, artists like the Yano brothers and Mari Fujihira will express their innermost feelings through music and dance. Meanwhile, Superhuman Island will feature a collaborative performance between wheelchair dancer Kenta Kambara and Gomess – an autistic rapper.
the Mazekoze Island Tour will take off at 4 p.m. JST on Sunday, August 22. There will be English subtitles and you can watch it on YouTube as well as the Line app.
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