The Art of Kabuki and Where to Watch a Kabuki Play

The literal meaning of Kabuki is singing and dancing technique. Kabuki is traditional Japanese musical drama which was invented almost four centuries ago. It represents the rich and diverse culture of Japan. The highlight of Kabuki plays are elaborate make up and costumes and gestures.

Kabuki was invented for the entertainment of the common masses. It was unlike the Noh, which was invented for the pleasure of the elite class. While Noh was graceful, Kabuki was loud, Noh was for educated people whereas anybody could enjoy Kabuki which relied heavily on grand costumes and bright masks and elaborate gestures and poses from the actors. The art of Kabuki was invented by a woman who danced in a tea shop dressed as a man. Later encouraged by the response, groups of women started performing and soon this form of entertainment became very popular. Women enacted both male and female parts; while the popularity of Kabuki grew, the performances of some groups became lewd and suggestive and so women were then banned from Kabuki.

Now men totally dominated the performances. Men played women’s part extremely well, they dressed like women, wore exaggerated make up and skillfully controlled their voices. Even today men play the part of women to perfection though some troupes have inducted women as well.

The main themes of Kabuki play are historical, domestic and dance numbers. The Kabuki actors have full control over vocals and often you can make out the meaning of the play even when if you do not understand the language. As a matter of fact the language of Kabuki plays is quite old and is incomprehensible to the Japanese themselves. Usually a small orchestra featuring traditional Japanese musical instruments accompanies the performances.

There were some features which made Kabuki so very special and unique. First was the revolving stage. With a revolving stage, the background scenery could be changed without dropping the curtains. There were trapdoors on the stage and the actors suddenly appeared and disappeared. There were harnesses which helped the actors to “fly”; these are known as special effects in today’s language and maybe they were inspired by Kabuki. The actors also suddenly changed their costumes.

In Japan, Kabuki-za in Tokyo is the most famous Kabuki theatre. The theatre was built in 1889 and has been rebuilt a couple of times. The theatre has been closed for major repairs and will reopen in 2013. The performances are being held at the Shinbashi Enbujo. Minami-za in Kyoto and the National Theatre in Chiyoda Japan are other venues were Kabuki performances are held.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Pinky Maniri

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