On Dec. 1 German artist Marion Settekorn opened her one woman exhibit at the German Culture Center, a new Greek Restaurant Vakhos opened at Kasumicho, and there was a super sayonara for Giza dancer Willy Jackson in Roppongi.
On Dec. 2 Japan Airlines gave a big party at the Keio Plaza for participants in the JATA Convention, United Arab Emirates Charge d’Affaires and Mrs. Al-Sarkal held a glittering reception at the New Otani to celebrate their country’s 10th Anniversary, Jason Roussous held a party at his home in honor of noted Greek jewelry designer and Mrs. Lalaounis who were here on business, and Yuya Boutique showed their splendid collection “Celebration in Silk” at a show-buffet dinner-dance evening at the elegant Samba Club in Roppongi. On Dec. 3 Pat Salmon had open house at her apartment and at The Gallery to show a wide and interesting selection of Chinese antiques she had purchased on her last trip to China.
On Nov. 5 Johannes and Joke Crince LeRoy held a sayonara at the Okura Hotel to bid farewell to their many friends. Johannes has been KLM Airlines Manager for Japan and Korea for 12 and a half years. With his work in the airline business and Joke’s involvement in many community projects they’ve made many friends during their stay here.
The crowd at the party was an interesting variety of people from all walks of life. Honorary guests included KLM President Dr. L. Orlandini, who had flown in from Amsterdam, and W.J. Tange, KLM’s Vice President for Asia and Australia. During the course of the evening, Johannes introduced his successor, H.A. van Dijck, who’s here with his wife Flora Sharon. We wish them as long, as happy and as successful a stay in Japan as the Crince LeRoys had. By this time Joke and Johannes should be settled in their home in Portugal. They’ll be missed by all who got to know them.
Geoffrey Holder in Tokyo
When I was talking to Arthur Mitchell I mentioned that I had a good friend, Geoffrey Holder, who had done the costumes and choreography for several dances in the company’s repertoire. Arthur said, “turn around.” I did and couldn’t mistake all six-foot-five of Geoffrey even though he had his back to us. What a happy reunion that turned out to be. It seems he had finished filming the day before the troupe left NYC and been asked if he’d like to join them.
The film is the screen adaptation of the super successful Broadway show “Annie,” and Geoffrey plays Punjab. He actually dances in the film with another friend of mine, Roger Minami, who’s smaller.
The Dance Theater of Harlem had eight sold-out performances in Japan. Their tour was sponsored by the Nippon Cultural Center and the Asahi Shimbun, and supported by the Japan-United States Friendship Association. As I mentioned before, most people who I talked with that saw the show wished there had been a little less emphasis on the classical, and more of their creative contemporary work. The program was decided here, and the company pretty much had to go along with that. I did invite them all to the Lexington the last evening they were in Tokyo. Most of the troupe showed up, relaxed and got down and boogied right into the next morning. That had to be some of the most exciting dancing I’ve seen for quite some time.
Geoffrey Holder wasn’t tied down with any special schedule so we had a ball the next few days shopping, sightseeing, going to the Kokusai Theater, attending openings of new discos, restaurants and clubs, and rapping about everything.
Once again, talk about a small world. John Olsen of Cathay Pacific had invited me to have coffee with him and two of his friends . . . Milo and Sally Frank. Milo’s been a top Hollywood agent, an author, a producer, a director, etc. Sally is a dancer-actress whose film name was Sally Forrest. Geoffrey was with me and I asked him if he’d like to meet some people . . . a Milo Frank and his wife. “Milo and Sally,” Geoffrey shouted. It turned out they had been friends for years, had worked together, but because of busy schedules hadn’t seen each other for quite some time. That was another happy reunion.
Geoffrey was only in Tokyo three days and had to get back to NYC to receive a fashion award. Among other things, he did the costumes for the Broad-way shows “The Wiz” and “Timbuktu.” His current projects include producing “Phantom of the Opera” as a Broad-way musical and doing a film version of the Greek tradegy in Haiti much as Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) retold the Orpheus legend in the pageantry of a carnival in Brazil. What a talented and interesting man.
On the 15th, between the Dance Theater of Harlem’s performance and their night at the Lex, I stopped by the Sanno Hotel and joined John and Didi Toulouse with a group of their friends they had invited for Mongolian Barbecue. I wasn’t there for dinner, but enjoyed relaxing over coffee with the group which included many diplomats and their wives.
• English pop star Gary Numan flew into Tokyo for a few days on an around-the-world trip. Actually he really did fly his own plane with the help of another English pilot. A few months ago Gary tried the same thing, landed at a military base in India, had some problems about being “a spy” and had the plane temporarily confiscated. Gary was here minus bodyguard and makeup this time, was a lot more relaxed than before and really seems to have gotten it all together.
• Tony Curtis was back after “three rainy days” in Bali, and we had some great times around Roppongi. We were in The Giza one night and he said, “Bill I’ve worked 35 years, done 120 movies, just finished with my divorce, am worth quite a bit and plan on doing just what I want. Watch.” At that point he handed me his hat and cane (he carries it for effect, not because he needs it), danced around the floor a couple of times and got up on one of the pro dancer’s plat-forms and shook his bootie. The crowd loved it. When he came off I jokingly thanked him for the audition, and told him not to call us, we’d call him. He’s a very natural down- to-earth guy and always took time out to shake hands with or sign autographs for his many fans here.
• Mel Gibson, the star of “Mad Max,” in town for Warner Brothers to promote “Mad Max 2.”