Tag Archives: Kabuki

Kabuki@Sadler’s Wells

I went to see Kabuki! Ebi-sama! Actually I was in two minds of going to see it, I didn:t have much money, was too busy, didn’t have any image of “Kitsune Tadanobu” by Ebizo…but I’m so happy I could see it.

They performed three scenes “Fushimi-inari” (aka “Torii-mae”), “Michiyuki-Hatsune-no-Tabi” (aka “Yoshino-yama”), and “Kawatsura-Hogen-Yakata-no-Dan” (aka “Shinokiri”), all from “Yoshitsune Senbon-zakura”. It’s a story of the fox “Tadanobu”. I think it was a good selection…I mean, if it was only one of them the story didn’t make sense for the people who don’t know much about Kabuki. But “Torii-mae” shows really Kabuki-ful gorgeous costume and “aragoto” (A special style of acting which is very exaggerated, dynamic and powerful), “Yoshino-yama” features “Buyo” (Japanese style dance) and “Shinokiri” is full of “Keren” (Tricks and stage devices which usually makes audience surprise), definitely beginners can enjoy it. To be honest, one of the things surprised me the most was Ebi-sama’s aura. I must confess I hadn’t seen any of his stages for long time, as I always prefer Nakamura-ya. Ebi-sama has been good at “aragoto” using his big eyes, but this time also dancing was sharp and awesome too, comical “Kitsune-Tadanobu” acting was fun, “Keren” was amazing too! I think the volume of the audience’s cheer proved that they were really fascinated by Ebi-sama. By the way, when he is acting “handsome” Tadanobu, he looked so sexy, like Nizaemon…was it only me feeling that?

Anyway, I was quite happy with it! But my favourite scene in “Shinokiri” which someone shouts “He’s coming!”, it seems most of the audience weren’t tricked because they didn’t understand the meaning of the shout…lol pity.

But it seems the stage was quite successful. Good! Ahhh I want to go back to Japan…

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Kinshu Tokubetsu Stage “Shin”

I went to see the Kabuki stage called “Shin” performed by Kantaro/Shichinosuke Nakamura! This time a taiko performer, Tetsuei Hayashi, and a shamisen performer, Chikudo Takahashi were on the stage as well. Hayashi is the person who participated to start “Kodo”, which I went to see their performance on the other day, so their drumming today was also amazing and energetic. Takahashi was so good at playing speedy tunes. And of course, Nakamura brothers was fantastic! In their first performance, “Ninin-Wankyu”, I was so surprised that Shichinosuke, who played “Matsuyama-dayu” looked so beautiful. “Matsuyama-dayu” is a phantom in the story, but Shichinosuke well expressed that dreamy mood, and how he moves lookes so feminine, and his proportion is so thin… I remember when I saw his performance last time, he was not that good at all! It was the first time I kept looking at Shichinosuke while Kantaro was on stage too. The last performance was “collaboration”, and it was so cool! Energetic taiko, dynamic shamisen, and Nakamura brothers wearing simple hakama and dancing… The title “Shin” (=”core”) expresses how it looks very well. The whole impression was “modern Japanese”. And this time, Kantaro was so good at performing masculine dance…he is getting really closer to his father recently. I love Nakamura family so much. Now I have favours to Shochiku! 1. Please release a DVD of this stage! I will buy it! 2. Please come to London!

NINAGAWA Twelfth Night

I went to see Kabuki on the other day. The story was based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. My impression was, unique Kabuki (in a good meaning). There were more British audience than I thought, and the atmosphere was completely like “away”! At first, three children were on the stage and sang western style song with cembalo, and Orsino wearing Japanese style costume said “Shakespeare lines”… it was extremely weird! Some British people were giggling, and I thought the whole play might be crap… But don’t underestimate Kabuki actors! They started to capture audience’s feeling little by little. Well…Kikunosuke acted Viola and her twin brother, Sebastian, by changing his costume quickly (this is traditional skill called Hayagawari). I wonder how many British audience could understand how difficult that “hayagawari” was? He changed into gorgeous princess style kimono so quickly, but no one applauded…I felt so sad. It was such a great performance! I heard Twelfth Night was comedy. I don’t know much about the original, but as the story went, the theatre became filled with laughter. Especially, Kamejiro who acted Maria was really good. His original face is not feminine at all, but somehow he looks so sexy while he is acting a woman… His comical character was really attractive. I thought the reaction of the audience at the theatre was really good, so I read some review on the internet… but most of them were rather critical. Wondering why, I read them, but it seems their opinions were “This is not Shakespeare.” One article says the first “chorus” made her curiosity, but the rest (direction which is typical Kabuki” was not good because it reduces main point of Shakespeare. It seems, what is important for them is “being Shakespeare” rather than “being Kabuki”. That is, I went to see “Kabuki based on Shakespeare’s story”, but they went to see “Shakespeare which uses Kabuki style”. …Well, I can understand even if they don’t understand Kabuki. Anyway I thought the audience were enjoying it. But I also felt that atmosphere of the theatre was important for Kabuki. The situation no one shout at actors during the play, (Some audience shout names of actors at a certain point. Only a few regular audience can do it because it might destroy the rhythm of the play. It’s kind of tradition.) was less exciting. Anyway, I really enjoyed my favourite theatre after for a while!

Kabuki @ Hakata-za February

It was the kabuki stage I was really looking forward. I went to Hakata (2hours by airplane). Woo Hoo! On start time, Kantaro started to announcement. He appeared wearing Montsuki Hakama (Formal Kimono), and gave us a greeting. He always looks smart! Well, it sounded like a wrestler. Mic perfomance? The first act was “Yoshitsune Senbon-sakura Tokai-ya / Daimotsuno-ura”> In the scene Tomomori kills himself by diving into the sea carrying a big ancher, it is really famous that the actor fall down with his back. This time, the actor was Shido… Well, I’m afraid to say this, but the thing my mother said was everything. “His aura is too cheap.” We know they are still junior actor, but… Anyway, another actor, Hichinosuke, who acted “Suke-no-tsubone” was brilliant. Of course, compared to seniour actors, he is still not good enough, but I think his effort and spirit was enough strong to move audience’s feeling. The second act was “Takatsuki” I always wanted to see. It is a dance act that the actor tap-dances wearing a high wooden clogs, and Kantaro challenged it at first time. It was amazing. Of course his father is the master of this dance, so some might say his tap dance is not good at all yet… But his expression was really good. I felt the temperature of the theatre changed quickly and his “drunk man” act was so funny that the audience was so fascinated. Nakamura-ya rocks. The third act was “Dango-uri” by Kamejiro and Ainosuke. Kamejiro(male) acted a woman and it surprised me as he looked so sexy. The balance between Woman’s soft movement, and comical movement. It was great.