Noh Theatre is one of the oldest forms of performance in Japan. It is a musical drama using dance, masks, live music, and chanting. It has been said to be one of the oldest forms of theatre dating back the the 14th century. Characterized by slow subtle movements, ornate costumes, and hand-carved wooden masks, this form is most appreciated by an older Japanese audience.
I personally became interested in Noh working on Ping Chong’s adaptation of Akira Kurowsawa’s stage adaptation of Throne of Blood. As Ping’s associate, I watched the film for hours and became entranced by the beautiful stillness in Lady Asaji. I learned that he used man elements of Noh theatre in this film, and this was the essential element for our production. For our production in at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Brooklyn Academy of Music, we trained our ensemble in this form and I became hooked. I knew that one day I would act on this obsession in a deeper way.
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