Noh Drama - No Artist - Sounds Of Japan (Vinyl, LP)
Supported by four columns, the roof symbolizes the sanctity of the stage, with its architectural design derived from the worship pavilion haiden or sacred dance pavilion kagura-den of Shinto shrines. The roof also unifies the theatre space and defines the stage as an architectural entity. The pillars supporting the roof are named shitebashira principal character's pillarmetsukebashira gazing pillarwakibashira secondary character's pillarand fuebashira flute Noh Drama - No Artist - Sounds Of Japan (Vinylclockwise from upstage right respectively.
Each pillar is associated with the performers and their actions. The stage is made entirely of unfinished hinokiJapanese cypress, with almost no decorative elements. Neither is there a curtain. There is only a simple panel kagami-ita with a painting of a green pine tree. This creates the impression that anything that could provide any shading has been banished.
To break such monotony and make something happen is no easy thing. Another unique feature of the stage is the hashigakaria narrow bridge at upstage right used by actors to enter the stage. Hashigakari means "suspension bridge", signifying something aerial that connects two separate worlds on a same level.
The bridge symbolizes the mythic nature of Noh plays in which otherworldly ghosts and spirits frequently appear. In contrast, hanamichi in Kabuki theatres is literally a path michi that connects two spaces in a single world, thus has a completely different significance. Noh actors wear silk costumes called shozoku robes along with wigs, hats, and props such as the fan. With Noh Drama - No Artist - Sounds Of Japan (Vinyl colors, elaborate texture, and intricate weave and embroidery, Noh robes are truly works of art in their own right.
For centuries, in accordance with the vision of Zeami, Noh costumes emulated the clothing that the characters would genuinely wear, such as the formal robes for a courtier and the street clothing for a peasant or commoner. But in the late sixteenth century, the costumes became stylized with certain symbolic and stylistic conventions.
During the Edo Tokugawa period, the elaborate robes given to actors by noblemen and samurai in the Muromachi period were developed as costumes.
The musicians and chorus typically wear formal montsuki kimono black and adorned with five family crests accompanied by either hakama a skirt-like garment or kami-shimoa combination of hakama and a waist-coat with exaggerated shoulders.
Finally, the stage attendants are garbed in virtually unadorned black garments, much in the same way as stagehands in contemporary Western theatre. The use of props in Noh is minimalistic and stylized. The most commonly used prop LP) Noh is the fanas it is carried by all performers regardless of role.
Chorus singers and musicians may carry their fan in hand when entering the stage, or carry it tucked LP) the obi the sash. The fan is usually placed at the performer's side when he or she takes position, and is often not taken up again until leaving the stage.
During dance sequences, the fan is typically used to represent any and all hand-held props, such as a sword, wine jug, flute, or writing brush. The fan may represent various objects over the course of a single play.
When hand props other than fans are used, they are usually introduced or retrieved by kuroko who fulfill a similar role to stage crew in contemporary theatre.
Like their Western counterparts, stage attendants for Noh traditionally dress in black, but unlike in Western theatre they may appear on stage during a scene, or may remain on stage during an entire performance, in both cases in plain view of the audience.
The all-black costume of kuroko implies they are not part of the action on stage and are effectively invisible. Set pieces in Noh such as the boats, wells, altars, and bells, are typically carried onto the stage before the beginning of the act in which they are needed.
Noh is a chanted drama, and a few commentators have dubbed it "Japanese opera ". However, the singing in Noh involves a limited tonal range, with lengthy, repetitive passages in a narrow dynamic range. Texts are poetic, relying heavily on the Japanese seven-five rhythm common to nearly all forms of Japanese poetrywith an economy of expression, and an abundance of allusion.
The singing parts of Noh are called " Utai " and the speaking parts " Kataru ". The chant is not always performed "in character"; that is, sometimes the actor will speak lines or describe events from the perspective of another character or even a disinterested narrator. Far from breaking the rhythm of the performance, this is actually in keeping with the otherworldly feel of many Noh plays, especially in those characterized as mugen.
Of the roughly plays created for Noh that are known today, about make up the current repertoire performed by the five existing Noh schools. The current repertoire is heavily influenced by the taste of aristocratic class in Tokugawa period and does not necessarily LP) popularity among the commoners. All Noh plays can be classified into three broad categories.
While Genzai Noh utilizes internal and external conflicts to drive storylines and bring out emotions, Mugen Noh focuses on utilizing flashbacks of the past and the deceased to invoke emotions. All Noh plays are divided by their themes into the following five categories. The dance would reveal his humiliation at suffering defeat.
Noh plays are extremely intense. In order to express something so abstract as an emotion, words are often inadequate. As the play progresses, then, dance and poetry are used to express the tortured heart. Other elements which contribute to an intensification of the mood are the bare simplicity of the stage which allows no distraction from the main character, and the gorgeous costumes of the main character himself.
The stylized movements also help to focus the energy on the emotion rather than on the individual personalities. In Noh as in classical ballet, every movement is choreographed and often symbolic. There is no individual interpretation. Aside from the main character there are one or sometimes two secondary parts, the waki. Usually they are priests attired in long dark robes. Like the audience, the secondary character is really there only to observe the tragedy enacted by the main character.
Usually a play opens with the priest or other secondary character's entrance. He describes the scene which he wants the audience to imagine. The scenes are all actual spots in Japan. Hokai-bushi Oiwake-bushi. Matsukaze Wind In The Pines. Shiokumi Kasatsukashi Collecting Water. Yokyoku from the noh drama Kakitsubata. Sanjusangen-do Kiyori. Neko Ja. Horikawa Sarumawash. Sakaya No Dan from Sankatsu Hanchichi.
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