Storytelling from Asia

Shinoharu Rakugo featuring Kamini Ramachandran

Japanese rakugo comic storyteller is back in Singapore with a special English performance with guest artist Kamini Ramachandran

Date: 19 Jun 2015


Location: YMCA Auditorium

Standard: $25
Door Price: $30


Shinoharu Tatekawa is a traditional Japanese rakugo comic storyteller. This special performance in English features guest artist Kamini Ramachandran.

Featuring a Singaporean storyteller at his performance for the very first time, Shinoharu Tatekawa, one of the up-and-coming Rakugo performers in Japan, is back in Singapore again coming June to stage an all-English show! This marks the 6th time Vivid Creations is bringing him to Singapore to stage his traditional Japanese comic storytelling performance, thanks to popular demand.

Shinoharu Tatekawa is the third disciple of Shinosuke Tatekawa, one of the most famous Rakugo masters in Japan. A form of traditional Japanese entertainment, Rakugo is best described as stand-up comedy in a sit-down story-telling style, established in the late 18th century. As a minimalistic performance art, a lone storyteller usually wears a kimono (Japanese traditional clothing), uses a sensu (paper fan) and a tenugui (tiny handkerchief), and entertains the audience by playing several characters on a koza (stage).

As the story is being told, the storyteller gradually starts telling the story by acting as the characters in the story, rather than telling it as the narrator. There are usually more than two characters in each story and the performer plays both of them by skilfully switching the tone of his voice, his facial and body expressions. These stories are always witty and funny, and it is the rich usage of wordplay that makes Rakugo so enjoyable.

Regardless of whether you have experienced this kind of comedy previously or not, do not miss this rare opportunity of catching renowned storytellers from Japan and Singapore perform on the same stage!

About Shinoharu Tatekawa

Shinoharu Tatekawa is a Rakugo storyteller from Osaka. After graduating from Yale University, he worked in Mitsui & Co. Ltd for three and a half years. In 2002, he was so impressed and inspired by Shinosuke Tatekawa’s Rakugo performance that he decided to give up his corporate position and become Shinosuke Tatekawa’s disciple.

After learning and training in the art of Rakugo for eight and a half years, he was promoted to Futatsume (a recognized rank for independent Rakugo performers). Besides traditional Rakugo tales, he has created new styles of Rakugo, including performances in English to bring this art form to an international audience.

In 2011, he gave his first solo Rakugo performance in Singapore. Following that, in 2012, he was invited to the Singapore International Storytelling Festival (SISF), where he was the only Japanese performer featured. He came back again to Singapore in 2013 and 2014 to stage performances in English and Japanese, due to popular demand. 2015 marks his fifth and sixth time performing in Singapore.

Presently, he travels around Japan and the world on a mission of bringing laughter to everyone.

About Kamini Ramachandran

Kamini Ramachandran is a master storyteller with enormous stage presence and a respect for the oral tradition. Through her passionate dedication to the art form, she has played a vital role in the revival of storytelling in Singapore and around the world. During her childhood she was mentored by a storyteller grandfather and is one of few contemporary storytellers who experienced a master-and-apprentice process of inheriting her repertoire of stories. MoonShadow Stories, Singapore’s first storytelling entity focusing on adult audiences and performance storytelling was founded in 2004 with the aim of promoting the lost art of the oral narrative.

She is also an artist educator who teaches her course The Storytelling Intensive to performing arts students at LASALLE College of the Arts.

A founding member and past-President (2008 – 2012) and current Vice President (2012 – present) of the Storytelling Association (Singapore), she is also Artistic Director for the Singapore International Storytelling Festival (2012 – 2014). A highly sought after storytelling artist, she is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. Kamini has been a featured storyteller at international festivals in Scotland, England, Rome, Chennai, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and Belgium. MoonShadow Stories has produced World Storytelling Day in Singapore since 2005.

She is one of today’s most unique voices in storytelling.

This performance was organized by Vivid Creations.

Photos courtesy of Vivid Creations.