I am a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway University of London, Drama & Theatre Department.
My research looks at the reception of Japanese Noh theatre in Europe, focusing on the ethics of traditional training.
I started my Noh training in Milan, Italy in 2006 with Monique Arnaud (Kongoh School). Arnaud-sensei is the only Noh shihan (licensed instructor) currently based in Europe. As it often happens in Japan, I began by training only in utai (chant) and added study of shimai (dance) later. One year after the start of my training, I went to Japan with Arnaud-sensei with other pupils from Italy in order to train with Arnaud’s own Master, Udaka Michishige. I stayed in Kyoto for two months between March and May 2007: it was my first ‘live’ encounter with Noh theatre. While in Japan I could attend a number of performances, practice with other Japanese and international trainees of Udaka Michishige. The community of Udaka-sensei’s international deshi (pupils) goes by the name of I.N.I. (International Noh Institute), and is coordinated by Ogamo Rebecca Teele, the first foreigner to achieve the status of professional actor in Noh theatre’s centuries-old history. This intensive practice period culminated with a performance that was meant to celebrate Udaka-sensei’s kanreki (60th birthday). I took the waki role (supporting actor) in the su-utai (solo chant of a whole play) of ‘Chikubushima’, an augural Noh play centered on the story of the island of Chikubushima in Lake Biwa. Moreover, I performed in the shimai dance (solo dance excerpt of a Noh play ‘Tsurukame’, set at the court of the Chinese Emperor. In addition, I had the luck to serve as member of the chorus for the play ‘Tsurukame’, performed by Japanese professionals.
After this experience I decided to start my PhD studying the reception of Noh in Europe, as I felt the subject very close to my personal experience. In September 2007 I started my PhD at Royal Holloway University of London, under the supervision of Prof. David Wiles, Dr Libby Worth and Dr. Matthew Cohen.
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