Kabuki is theater in the most vibrant...
Kabuki is theater in the most vibrant sense of the term: brilliant spectacle and stirring action in which the actor himself is given every chance to display his virtuosity. The stage, immensely wide, is capable of an amazing variety of pictorial illusions.
Kabuki is theater in the most vibrant sense of the term: brilliant spectacle and stirring action in which the actor himself is given every chance to display his virtuosity. The stage, immensely wide, is capable of an amazing variety of pictorial illusions. Whole buildings rise into view or sink from sight, a ship arrives at a wharf, a sword battle breaks out and heads roll. The actors are all male. Even the fairy-tale princesses and the gorgeously dressed courtesans are played by men. The costumes and settings are often incredibly sumptuous. The acting style is bold and forceful, and dance is an integral part of the drama. The plays themselves cover a fascinating range: feudal-period dramas of warfare and revenge, chilling tales of ghosts and demons, comedies and tragedies of domestic life in old Japan, dance dramas of strange and alluring beauty, and display pieces in which the actors demonstrate their special talents, including even acrobatics and other physical feats. It is a magical world that the Kabuki stage creates, and its pleasures are practically limitless. This book invites the -reader into the world of Kabuki for an intimate look at its history, its techniques, its repertoire, and its actors. The approach is largely a visual one, as the generous selection of illustrations makes clear. Photographs of celebrated actors in their favorite roles, scenes from famous plays, views of onstage and backstage activity, drawings and paintings from Kabuki history-all these complment a text that presents a wealth of information and provides a background for the appreciation of Japan's most exciting form of traditional theater