Japanese performance group FaiFai make their U.S. debut this weekend in Cedar Rapids

Faifai is making a weekend stop in Iowa before heading out to CalArts in Valencia, California.
CSPS Hall – Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. ($15-18)

Tokyo-based theater company Faifai will be visiting CSPS in Cedar Rapids this weekend, marking the group’s first stop on their first-ever visit to the U.S.

Faifai offers an intriguing, experimental depiction of everyday life as seen through the lens of various Japanese performance styles. The group incorporate elements of Kabuki, Noh and even manga into their performance, paired with a lively stage show that’s heavy on both movement and technology.

CSPS offers a detailed synopsis:

The story follows Anton, a stray cat suffering from leukemia, and his encounters with residents in a housing block. With eye-popping visuals, energetic movement and a polyphonic soundscape, Faifai creates an unforgettable theatrical experience. Words and sentences spoken by the performers are cut up, sampled and turned into music, unleashing an audiovisual spectacle that creates new realities before our eyes.

Faifai will be stopping in four cities on their U.S. arrival tour, with Cedar Rapids making the cut alongside Valencia, Houston and New Orleans (in California, Texas and Louisiana, respectively). That’s some pretty good company, no?

The group has been active in the Tokya theatre scene since its formation in 2004. They’ve spent the better part of the last decade portraying human experiences shared by people around the world as well as Japan-specific social phenomena. Sometimes humorous, sometimes critical, Faifai’s show is said to be an exuberant cross-cultural experience.

Faifai come to Cedar Rapids as part of a residency funded in part by the National Performance Network’s (NPN) U.S./Japan Connection, as well as a partnership with the NPN and the Japan Contemporary Dance Network. Major support has also been provided by the Japan Foundation (Tokyo and New York).

The group will be performing at CSPS Hall via Legion Arts this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Additional ticket information is available here.

Check out Faifai in action:


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