7th February, 2014 / 11.00am - 4.00pm
20th February, 2017
The Japanese musical-theatrical genre of Noh can seem impenetrable to audiences unused to its conventions. This evening of sharing and discussion aims to uncover what it might have in common with other, more familiar traditions, and to consider new developments in one of the very oldest forms of theatre.
Noh is one of the world’s oldest continuously performed theatre traditions, passed down through traditional families for nearly 700 years. It is famed for the beauty of its masks and the astonishing presence of its actors. But what really makes it a living heritage?
Professor Mario Yokomichi, one of the most important 20th century scholars of noh has written:
“An image exists of noh as a rigid form that cannot be altered, in even the minutest ways. However, noh can be changed in multiple and various ways to the performer’s creative disposition. With this freedom, the performer is able to imbue the performance with their individuality and emotionally connect with the audience. As a result noh has been able to survive for hundreds of years. Because of the freedom within the performance of noh, it continues even today to draw in audiences and speak to their hearts.”
This seminar brings together international experts to debate the place of noh in today’s globalised culture, its influence on western music and theatre, and what actors and singers everywhere can learn from it. The evening will also feature a demonstration of noh techniques and innovations by the eminent noh actor Akira Matsui.