The Japan Foundation, Toronto presents five Talk + DVD presentations by Program Officer Toshi Aoyagi to enhance your enjoyment of the upcoming Cinema Kabuki screenings, Feb. 28 & March 1 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Kabuki Talk I
Wednesday, February 18, 6:30 pm
Introduction to Kabuki Theatre: Through the repertoire, set in the Pleasure Quarters
Since its birth in the 17th century, Kabuki Theatre has been strongly associated with the pleasure quarters. As an introduction to the Kabuki world, the basic concepts of Onnagata (male actors performing female roles) and Koroshi-ba (murder scenes) will be revealed.
Kabuki Talk II
Friday, February 20, 6:30 pm
Lion Dance by Female Characters
Kabuki Talk III
Monday, February 23, 6:30 pm
Lion Dance by Male Characters
A number of Kabuki pieces called Shishi-mono form one of the major parts of the dance repertoire. A woman, such as a princess or courtesan, is transformed by the sacred animal, and becomes a heroic, ferocious figure. But sometimes male figures dominate the pieces, focusing attention on father-son relationships. The two talks are about the excitement and diversity of Lion Dances.
Kabuki Talk IV
Wednesday, February 25, 6:30 pm
Dance Comedies in Kabuki
In the early 20th century, a group of Kabuki dances were created based on Kyogen comedies. Premiering in 1910, The Zen Substitute is one of the best examples of this genre. The simple, domestic plot rises to the level of a romantic fairy tale through music and ingenious choreography. Mitsugoro and the late Kanzaburo teamed up to fill the stage with the joy of life.
Kabuki Talk V
Friday, February 27,6:30 pm
Contemporary Writer Hideki Noda’s Contributions to Kabuki Theatre
The late Kanzaburo’s close friend Hideki Noda has been at the forefront of Japanese contemporary theatre since the 1980s. Fast pacing, lengthy dialogue and social satire were all new to Kabuki actors in their first collaboration, The Revenge on Togitatsu. But through the theatricality, both traditional and contemporary creative forces combine to produce high entertainment.