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Japanese Theatre and Dance. Japanese Theatre and Dance. Classical Forms Gagaku Noh Kyogen Bunraku Kabuki Contemporary Performances. Noh.

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japanese theatre and dance

Japanese Theatre and Dance

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

japanese theatre and dance2
Japanese Theatre and Dance
  • Classical Forms
    • Gagaku
    • Noh
    • Kyogen
    • Bunraku
    • Kabuki
  • Contemporary Performances

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

slide3
Noh
  • Noh preserves what all other contemporary theatre has lost,: its origin in ritual, reflecting an essentially Buddhist view of existence. The performance looks and sounds more like solemn observance than life.The actors play the role of intermediaries between the worlds of gods and men. In strict rhythms, out of music voice and movement rather than the artifice of stagecraft, time and space are created and destroyed.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

slide4
Noh
  • Noh combines elements of dance, drama, music and poetry into one highly aesthetic stage art.
  • An art form in which so few elements say so much. Trims off unnecessary details. The ‘moment’ is important, not the plot.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

noh history
Noh History
  • Noh developed into its present form during the 14th and 15th centuries under the leadership of the distinguished performer -playwrights Kannami and his son Zeami. Zeami, in particular, wrote numerous plays which are still performed in today's classical repertory of some 250 plays.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Noh History
  • Zeami also wrote a number of secret works which explain the aesthetic principles governing Noh and give details on how the art should be composed, acted, directed, taught, and produced.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Noh History
  • Noh flourished during Zeami's time under the patronage of the military shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. Later during the Edo period (1603-1868), Noh became the official performance art of the military government. Feudal military lords throughout the country supported their own troupes and many studied and performed the art themselves.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Noh History
  • With the societal reforms of the Meiji period (1868-1912), Noh lost its governmental patronage and was left to fend for itself.
  • Although it nearly died out, enough performers regrouped, found private sponsors, and began teaching the art to amateurs so that it slowly began to flourish again.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

noh now
Noh Now
  • Today, like many classical performance forms throughout the world, Noh cannot be described as a popular art among the Japanese people as a whole.
  • Yet supporters are enthusiastic, and professional performers are highly trained and extremely busy performing and teaching throughout the country.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Noh Now
  • Approximately 1,500 professional performers make their living largely through performing and teaching Noh.
  • There is also a wide following of both male and female amateurs who practice and perform its chant, dance, and instruments.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Noh
  • Largely based in the cities of Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, it is performed throughout the country by professional artists, mainly men, who have passed down the art among family members for numerous generations.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

elements of noh
Elements of Noh

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Elements of Noh

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Elements of Noh

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

elements of noh15
Elements of Noh

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

elements of noh16
Elements of Noh

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

elements of noh17
Elements of Noh

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Elements of Noh
  • What really makes Noh ‘Noh’ is what the actor does with his voice or body
  • Also important to the creation of the ‘moment’ are the instruments you choose to accompany the texts, the rhythm of the speech: how does it support the structure and flow of the story?

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Elements of Noh
  • Body and Movement (kata)
    • Walking (suriashi)
    • Alignment (Kamae), presence, economy
    • Jo Ha Kyu (begin, develop, finish)
  • Dance-mvt. patterns (Shimae)

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Elements of Noh
  • Music
    • Chant (Utaibon) 6-8 singers (Jiutai)
      • narrate the background and the story itself. It also sometimes describes the character's thoughts and emotions or even sings lines for the characters.
    • 3 different drums Taiko, Kotsozumi, Otsozumi,
    • Drum ‘calls’ (Kakegoe) These are syllables spoken by drummers - “yo-ho-ho’-yoi-i-ya”
    • Flute (Nohkan)

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Elements of Noh
  • Plays
    • Gods (Shinto)
    • Warriors
    • Women
    • Miscellaneous
    • Demons

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Elements of Noh
  • Order of Plays
    • One from each category with Kyogen in between

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

kyogen
Kyogen
  • Comic theater which balances the more serious Noh.
  • Noh emphasizes music, Kyogen emphasizes dialogue.
  • The two are traditionally performed alternately on the same program and they share a common heritage.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

kabuki
Kabuki
  • A magnificent blend of playacting, dance and music, kabuki today offers an extraordinary spectacle combining form, colour and sound, and is recognized as one of the world’s great theatrical traditions.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Kabuki
  • Often incorporates the prevailing moral notions of Tokugawa society as a mechanism upon which plots turn. For example infa oho, (law of retributive justice), a Buddhist notion, may result in the destruction of an evildoer, or the bestowal of prosperity and happiness upon a long-suffering woman. The notion of mujo (impermanence of all things), may be illustarted by the demise of a proud family or the fall of a powerful military leader.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

kabuki26
Kabuki
  • Certain ethical notions based on Confucian traditions, such as duty, obligation, and filial [iety, may come into direct conflict with personal desires and passions, leading to a series of dramatic situations.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

kabuki27
Kabuki
  • Legend/history of founding by woman performer, ‘Okuni’a female attendant at the Izumo shrine in Kyoto who led her company of mostly women in light theatrical performances featuring dancing and comic sketches, gaining nationwide recognition. (early 17th century)

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Kabuki
  • Okuni’s dramas and later the genre itself became identified as ‘kabuki’ - at erm connoting its ‘out of the ordinary’ and ‘shocking’ character.
  • The attraction of women’s (onna) kabuki was inclusion of sensual dances and erotic scenes. Fights often broke out among spectators over these entertainers, who practised prostitution, so women were banned from performing in 1629

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Kabuki
  • Then wakushu (young men’s) kabuki was extremely successful but had exactly the same problems (public disturbances, prostitution)
  • In 1652 this was also forbidden, shogunate required basic reforms, had to be based on kyogen, performed by men (yaro).

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

kabuki30
Kabuki
  • After a period of waning popularity due to the rise of Bunraku (puppet theatre) (early 18th century) Kabuki began to adapt Bunraku scripts to live performers - actors even imitated the movements of the puppets.
  • Under meiji restoration attempts made to odernize kabuki - not popular - and in the arly 1900s actors urged a return to tradition

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

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Kabuki
  • Now traditional style plays are performed - often excerpted, just favorite acts and scenes presented together with a dance (buyo) piece. The national theatre in Tokyo continues to present full length plays.
  • The average length of a Kabuki performance is 5 hours including intermissions.

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle

links
LINKS
  • NOH
    • http://www2.ntj.jac.go.jp/unesco/noh/en/
    • http://www.theatrenohgaku.org/noh/index.html
  • Kabuki
    • http://www.fix.co.jp/kabuki/kabuki.html
  • Contemporary
    • http://www.jpan.org/cont_e.html

May 2005 Lisa Doolittle