Dance show enthusiasts in Japan can now watch performances live with the necessary precautions and adjustments made. Japanese dance company Moonlight Mobile Theater was able to come up with a way to bring its live audience back to their shows while maintaining the proper health protocols. The viewers sit in separate cubicles surrounding the stage, where they can watch the dancers perform via the letter-drop slots provided on their seats:
“We intentionally created small holes and slots resembling mailbox slots,” said Nobuyoshi Asai, the theatre’s artistic director and choreographer, explaining how limiting the scope of viewing allows the audience to become more absorbed in the performance.
The theatre company began this peephole viewing in December after cancelling most of its shows last year because of the pandemic. Since December, all 12 of the peephole performances have sold out.
Though this response has been encouraging, only 30 people are allowed in the audience at each show. This does not cover the cost of the performance, including additional safety measures such as disinfecting the venue. Government subsidies barely help the company make ends meet.
While acknowledging the difficulties, Asai is steadfast in the advantages of this idea.
“If we don’t do it, artists will lose opportunities to dance and act,” he said. “We want to propose this as a model to bring audiences back to theatres.”
Image via Reuters