Old new Noh

Bitter review on the Nogaku Times for the recent performance of Takahime, Yokomichi Mario’s retro-version of Yeats’s Noh-influenced play for dancers At the Hawk’s Well (1916), on stage at the National Noh Theatre in Tokyo on December 25h 2012. Takahime is a ‘shinsaku-Noh’ or ‘newly composed Noh’, the denomination of those plays that do not belong…

Super-Noh: “Zeami”

This year the National Noh Theatre in Tokyo is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The article on the first page of the February issue of the Nogaku Times reminded me of something I wanted to blog about a month ago or so, after a friend (journalist Okada Naoko) gave me a heads up about it: the first…

New Noh: ‘Shain’

The October issue of the Nōgaku Times features an article on Shain 『沙院』 a shinsaku-noh (new Noh play, not part of the classical canon) by actor Nagajima Tadashi (Kanze). Shain is based on the character of Shakushain, an Ainu chifetain who led an important rebellion (Shakushain no tatakai, 1669-1672) against the Matsumae clan, the Japanese lords who occupied…

Sakura. Tribute to Japan

It is difficult to find words to illustrate what was meant to describe the indescribable. This is Sakura. A Tribute to Japan: an Italian project by Gio’ Fronti,  directed by Alessandra Pescetta, and starring Monique Arnaud, a short film dedicated to the victims (dead and alive) of the Fukushima disaster. Arnaud, director of the International Noh Institute…

Polish – Japanese Noh diplomacy: Chopin and ‘The Piano Tuner’

Inter-cultural theatre plays involving Noh and other performance forms are not mere artistic endeavours, but acts with strong political relevance. This seems to be the case of The Piano Tuner (in Polish ‘Stroiciel fortepianu‘), a Noh play written by Jadwiga Maria Rodowicz who is (at once) a Japanese Noh scholar, the ambassador of Poland in Japan, and…

Noh thriller movie – 天河伝説殺人事件

Back from Japan and heavily jet-lagged as usual, I was wandering the many Noh-related blog pages when I bumped into 天河伝説殺人事件 (Tenkawa Densetsu Satsujin Jiken) a 1991 thriller by Ichikawa Kon, the director of The Burmese Harp, Tokyo Olympiad and many other legendary films. 天河伝説殺人事件 looks like a standard 80s old-school detective story with the…

11/3 The 8th Annual Sanrinshojo Noh Performance

The National Noh Theatre, Tokyo 1:30~4:10 p.m. (doors open at 12:30) Kyogen: SORA UDE – OKURA Yataro, OKURA Motonari Noh: UTOH (Kumiotoshi) – UDAKA Michishige Tickets: Reserved (stage front): 6,000 yen General admission: 5,000 yen, Student: 2,000 yen For tickets or further information contact: ogamo-tr@mbox.kyoto-inet.or.jp Information about the plays will be available in English, French,…

Hiroshima’s Prayer for Peace

Yesterday (July 9th 2010) Udaka Michishige‘s Genshigumo (原子雲, a newly-written Noh play on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) was performed in Hiroshima for the first time. I had the chance to follow Udaka-Sensei, and take part in the introductory speeches of the performance, reading messages from members of the International Noh Institute around…

Noh Robots: Noh Theatre Neongenesis Evangelion

Of all the shinsaku-noh (modern noh) I have come across this is by far the most bizarre.. an adaptation of the popular anime Neongenesis Evangelion in Noh style by shite Yamai Tsunao (Konparu school). Apparently Yamai-san has a wide range of interests including singing in a rock-band etc.. This is not the first time a…