Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kabuki at Opera National de Paris

I didn't know this till last night, but Japan's traditional national specialty kabuki is going to be performed at France's traditional historical art theatre Opera National de Paris next month.
After I heard about it on the TV news I looked up for articles on the internet and found out that they had already made official announcements last spring. Oops, missed that.

Anyway, the kabuki programs with strong, distinctive colors and costumes are going to be shown under the ceiling softly yet marvelously decorated by the paitings of Chagall, for five times starting March 23rd, 2007. The actors starred are genuine successors of the traditional Edo Kabuki family line Ichikawa Danjuro and his son Ebizo, and the programs they're performing are their specialties Kanjincho and Momijigari.

This all started a little more than two years ago when Ebizo made a statement with other actors in French of his succession to the name at Theatre National de Chaillot. Brigette Lefevre, the art director of Paris Opera House was there at Ebizo's name-succession ceremony, and was so deeply moved by the performance that she decided to invite the troup to perform at Paris Opera House. The news article noted that Lefevre commented for the name-succession ceremony, (something like),"the moments of modernity beautifully blended with tradition, and felt some similarities between kabuki and ballet." The troup is going to give the opening statement in French. For the other parts of the program... I'm pretty sure there's going to be translation headsets provided.

The news has been popping up in several Japanese blogs, and a lot of them like myself are trying to imagine kabuki being played at the dazzling gorgeous Paris Opera House. The colors are different, the movements are different, everything is different except for the fact that it does have centuries-long authenticity just the way classic ballet does. Very interesting indeed.

It seems like the tickets are already on sale. See here: (Francais) for details.

Today's update on Japan Mode:
Sakura (yeah I know I've been doing lots of "guides") varieties. As I was building the pages for cherry blossom viewing spot guides, I realized that a whole lot of them require more basic background knowledge about cherry blossoms especially their kinds. Just found out there there are roughly 300 kinds of cherry blossoms in Japan... increasing.

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