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776: Streep talk
775: World of difference
774: Shocks and Bonds
773: Viva La Revolución
772: Jacqui Bayne
768: Beyond the universe
767: Yasuhito Endo
766: Aroon Mahtani
765: Dr. Hidemi Akai
764: Badr Hari
763: Mizuki Kubodera
761: Patrick W. Galbraith
760: Jean-Pierre Felix
759: Philippe Grau
758: Emi Kashiwara & Elekiteru
757: Aura Virginia Chirculescu
756: Aaron Davis
755: Happy days
754: Bryan Au
753: Martin van der Linden
752: Qinggelete
751: Chuck Johnson
750: Mike Applegate (aka Magic Mike)
749: Yukie Kito
748: Steve Kaufmann
746: Samira Zarghami
745: Raising the Bar
744: Pierre-Gilles Delorme
743: David F. Hoenigman
742: Miwa Gardner
741: Kevin Cooney
740: Kyle Cleveland
739: JJ
738: Bruce Stronach
737: Yoichiro Dennis Ide
736: Mike Garrett
735: Hiroki Suehara
734: Rise and Shrine
733: Patrik Washburn
732: Michael Bumgardner
731: Patricia Bader-Johnston
730: Darin Maki
729: Hiroshi Fujimaki
728: Misha Janette
727: Jon Mitchell
725: Hokuto Konishi
724: Rita Lamah Hankach
723: Kisui Nakazawa
722: Angela Jeffs
721: Simon Wood
720: Yasuko Yokoyama
715: Jason Kelly
714: Dominica Serigano
713: Erik Gain
712: Genevieve Maylam
711: Masahiro Gono
710: Eikou Sumura
709: Eikou Sumura
708: Malcolm Thompson
707: Makiko Tsuji
706: Dominic Allen
705: Maria Heitanen
704: Beckie Cassidy
703: Jett Edwards
702: Yoshinobu Furuichi
701: Silvestre Jacobi
700: Jah-Light Sound System
699: Daniel Velazques
698: Lynne Charles
697: Eric Bragg
695: Susan Nichols
694: Anna Kunnecke
693: Kenneth Pechter
692: Kazu Wakui
691: Antonio Inoki
690: Hiroko Noguchi
689: Richard Bysouth
688: Eric Bjorndahl
687: Andrew Shuttleworth
686: Sayuri Suzuki
685: Yurie Hatanaka
684: Miogi Takii
683: Thierry Cohen
682: Ahmed M. Elmardi
681: Aya Kitagawa
680: Suzanne Ng and Yoriko Soma
679: Ricco DeBlank
677: Takenari Shibata
676: Kirk R. Patterson
675: Satoko Yahata
674: Flavia Nishimura
673: Ryo Shoji
672: Chip Eckton
671: Yuko Ito
670: Marja Kullberg
669: Laur Meyrieux
668: Slavomir Stanislaw Kowalewski
667: Ryan McGuire
664: Life force
663: Steve Marshall
662: Jeff Klein
661: Ahn Soon Han
660: Straight shooter
659: Marcello Pietrantonio
658: Glitterball 2006
657: Alison Roberts-Brown
656: Girl on the go
655: Rob Hoey
654: Kahori Ochi
653: Ed Wells
652: Haruka Orth
651: Laura Cook
650: Uleshka Asher
649: Full speed ahead
648: Katsumi Namekata
647: Top talent
646: No heels, no life
645: Joanna Roper
644: Lu Nagata
643: Kirill Konin
642: Gabriele Roberto
641: Carlos Gibbs
640: Blair Falahey
639: The Three Waiters
638: Simon Woodroffe
637: Tony Virili
636: Paul W. Creager
635: Randy Channell
634: Mari Takeuchi
633: Stephanie Schueller
632: Tara Tan Kitaoka
631: Katherine Mok
630: Bob Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi
629: Tommy Kullberg
628: Toshio Nagashima
627: Eiko Kondo
626: Embrey Ramon Williams
625: Neil Day
624: Mong-Lan
623: Tor Hideki Kashio
622: Elizabeth Heilman Brooke
621: Louis Carlet
620: Theo Panagiotoulias
619: Lionel Gougne
618: Sarajean Rossitto
617: Christian Hassing
616: Kiho Takashima
614-615: David Wagner
613: Heather Stuart
612: Erica Angyal
611: Jack McLean
610: Fumine Yakumo
609: Yasutoshi Hirabayashi
608: Yoko Hijikata
607: Jim Frederick
605: Yuka Murakami
604: Chayne Ellis
603: Marco Antonio Nakata
602: Kicking Back
601: Stand by your man
600: Hero worship
599: The Candy man
598: Heart strings
597: Sweet and sour
596: Subtitle subtleties
595: The right moves
594: Mother’s day
593: The clone ranger
592: A career kicks off
591: Woman of substance
590: Final conflict
589: World Ready for ‘War’
588: Fun in the sun
587: New life for an old hero
586: Fun and games
585: Knockout punch
584: Patrick’s day
583: Marcia marches on
582: Brunch break
581: Kingdom come
580: Gentle as a beast
579: Prime time
578: Devil of a time
577: In first Gere
576: Bright spark
575: Rei of sunshine
574: A star is reborn
573: In search of geisha
572: Marshall law
571: In the Nic of time
570: Holding a grudge
569: Bourne again
568: Soap opera
567: Alexander and friends
566: Oceans apart
565: A night at the opera
564: Just joshing
563: McPain in the neck
561-562: Hanks for everything
560: Reading between the Klines
559: Risqué business
558: Sky highs
557: Korean boom
556: Queen Victoria
555: Glitter Ball
554: Peter Miller
553: Ralph Frehner
552: Dimension K
551: Tokyo Game Show
550: US Embassy
549: I, Robot Premiere
548: Mauve
547: Xterra Japan
546: Earth Celebration
545: Idée R-bar
544: Laforet Museum
543: Hara Museum
542: Fuji Rock Festival’04
541: Bunkamura Museum of Art

star struck

The right moves
Choreographer Marven Payne has a thriving career in Japan
By Toshiya Fujii

Sometimes when you pass by a train station or walk between buildings in Shinjuku at night, you can see kids practicing their dance routines in front of big windows. “It’s good that dancing has become a major thing in Japan, but at the same time it is also bad that a lot of these kids do not have the basics,” says Marven Payne.

One of the originators of the “LA style jazz,” Marven is considered one of the best choreographers in the business, with 20 years of experience under his belt. The list of Japanese artists he`s worked with is impressive—Seiko Matsuda, Gekidan Shiki, Namie Amuro, Speed, Max, Da Pump, Kumi Koda, SMAP and the ST Kinki Kids, just to name a few. He is the only foreigner to hold the position of artistic director at a major Japanese dance company, in his case Hiromi Dance Company.

“Believe it or not, I was a geek in school,” he says. “Dance was a way for me to communicate with the rest of the world.” From dancing in his room, his hobby became more serious when he began taking jazz and ballet lessons as a kid. By the time Marven was 15, he had turned pro. In 1985, he had just started his first year in university in Philadelphia, aspiring to be a fashion designer, when a man from Japan asked him if he wanted to choreograph for Matsuda. “I didn’t have any idea who Matsuda was or what Japan was like,” he says. Nearly 20 years on, Marven claims Yokohama as his home.

In demand internationally, he travels around the world to teach. He says the best feeling is watching his students grow. Aside from his regular classes in Yokohama and at Tokyo American Club, he is currently working with two artists: Ellie and Hitomi Ono. Both are under Emerge Records, a record label he owns. Like many recording artists, they never received the proper support from their previous labels. “I basically started the label so that they would get the right push that they deserve,” he explains. From time to time, Marven gets away from the dance world and works as creative director at Xenn, a company that creates mobile phone and Internet content, teaches motion graphics at the Apple store in Ginza, and manages a production company, Body Emotions, in addition to the casting office, Emerge Casting, all at the same time. He is also a model occasionally, and a designer. His dream is to build a performing arts high school in Japan. “The education system here is set up so that when you get to a certain age, you either have to choose a career in the dance, or you have to study and go to juku (cram school),” Marven says. “Japanese dancers could be among the best in the world. They have strong, flexible bodies and a ‘work hard’ mentality. I want to set up a proper school, so children can get both kinds of education at the same time. It’s been my dream ever since I came to Japan and I intend to see it through.” www.marvenpayne.net



Lenne Hardt
The voice of PRIDE has a lot to shout about

Actor, narrator, singer and comedian, Lenne Hardt is perhaps best known for her decibel-defying announcements at PRIDE that energize the crowd and the fighters.

Why did you come to Japan?
To see how Manhattan sushi stacked up against the real thing. And to DJ at BAY FM.

What keeps you here?
My work, my brother and his family. They’ve been here over 30 years.

Which of your many jobs do you enjoy most?
I was made for performing live, whether singing with my jazz band, doing improv with Spontaneous Confusion at the Tokyo Comedy Store, or performing in plays. In my next show I play Sleeping Beauty’s evil witch. My brother calls it typecasting!

What has been the highlight of your career?
Calling out the names of those gorgeous hunks at PRIDE! How do you get in the screaming mood? I don’t scream! I announce, I intone, I amplify, I troll, I trill—but I don’t scream! It’s the excitement of performing in front of tens of thousands of people. What a rush!

Which famous people do you work with?
On Thursdays, I enjoy a few laughs with Tamori-san and Surube-san on Fuji TV’s Warate Ii Tomo. On Fridays, over at NTV, I wrestle for the mic with Music Fighter hosts Sayaka Aoki and King Kong. My athletic regimen keeps me in touch with Bob Sapp, Wanderlei Silva and Kazushi Sakuraba. For laughs I hang out with comedy teams London Boots and 99. Do you need more?

What does your husband say about you working with so many famous men?
He says he’s still the only guy who can talk to me without a cue sheet.

How do you relax?
I walk my dogs, scuba dive, ski, rollerblade, read, dance, sing, study Japanese, clean my house and do my nails.

What are you reading this week?
Besides Metropolis? The novel behind Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

Where in Tokyo do you live?
I have been in Shibuya most of my 17 years in Japan. I guess I’m a Shibuya girl!

Do you plan to stay here forever?
Indefinitely—is that the same thing?

PRIDE Final Conflict takes place Aug 28 at Saitama Super Arena. See www.pridefc.com for details. Catch Tokyo Comedy Store on Sep 8 and the Lenne Hardt Jazz Cabaret on Sep 16, both at Oh! God Cinema Play Café in Harajuku. See www.tokyocomedy.com for information about both events. The Tokyo Theater for Children’s Sleeping Beauty will be staged in November. AV

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.