Sunday, March 30, 2008

Noh has been a performing tradition that has continued since the 14th century

It’s Sunday, and today I’m updating from the room I have my cultural geography course in! Exciting, I know, but it does have a certain feeling of cool in being the only one in a cold, computer-filled lab, typing away, trying to not be ADD long enough to use the mapping program only on these computers without changing the map colours thirty times…. So I thought I’d update my blog since I wanted to this weekend, and a break from maps is probably good for the health on occasion.
Friday OWU students had a special chance to experience Japanese Noh theatre a bit by meeting Matt Dubroff, one of a few Americans not only learning the traditional art of Noh, but making and performing English Noh plays with his modest troupe. He kindly explained a brief history of Noh, what the heck Noh is, and even gave some examples during his more formal afternoon talk; he also did two Noh workshops, showing people how to do some basic Noh movements and singing, but I unfortunately missed out on that part of it!! It was very informative, and I could easily rant on and on about his presentation, but I shall spare my readers and merely recommend researching Noh if the idea of the oldest still-practiced performing art which gives the main actor a wide range of responsibilities far beyond what one would normally expect sounds interesting. I find it fascinating, particularly since there is no rehearsal for a performance, and they only perform once.

German word: It feels odd writing about a German word after talking about Japan so long. Japan in German is Japan (the ‘j’ is pronounced like a ‘y’ is in English. There is also a certain emphasis that apparently should be used, but people will definitely know what you’re talking about it you say ‘yapon’.) Japanese is simply japanisch.

Pictures
Matt Dubroff explaining something to us. Yes, he was cool enough to wear a shorter kimono top that I cannot think of the specific name of at this moment. And he had a cool fan.


A traditional Noh setting…


This video was put out by the government of Japan, I believe, and is actually fairly informative and cool. The giant bell thing toward the end has been known to concuss and injure not a few Noh actors in the past.



Kabuki came about a couple hundred years after Noh and was seen as a theatre more for the commoners. (Noh by then had created a strong relationship with the aristocracy, starting with its true roots of Kan'ami and Zeami [Zeami chilled with the Shogun of the time and combined the courtly things he learned with him with Noh.]) Anyway, this is a sample of Kabuki. I love the wigs.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

And after all of this hubbubing, are they going to have traditional white tea?

Courtney OWU said...

Perhaps. But you're not invited. =P

Anonymous said...

Just because hubbubing involves tinted water :P

Courtney OWU said...

They only serve the tinted stuff to the guests that they like. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll take the disliked-guests sugar-and-pond scum stuff.

Courtney OWU said...

The pond-scum stuff is too healthy for the disliked ones; they get hot Lipton and cancer-causing pseudo-sugars.