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Noh Theater
April 21, 2004 4:57 PM   Subscribe

The Palace of Hana & Yugen: History and Theory of Noh Theater. [more]
posted by hama7 (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The oldest dramatic form preserved in Japan is Noh theater, which attained its contemporary form at the fourteenth-century Ashikaga court.

A Noh play unfolds around the recitation and dancing of a principal and secondary figure, while a seated chorus chants a story, accentuated by solemn drum and flute music. The dramatic action is mimed in highly stylized gestures symbolizing intense emotions, which are also evoked by terse lyrical prose and dance. Standardized masks and brilliant costumes stand out starkly against the austere, empty stage with its symbolic pine tree backdrop.

Noh stories depict legendary or historical events of a tragic cast, infused with Buddhist ideas. The foreboding atmosphere is relieved by comic interludes (kyogen) played during the intermission.
posted by hama7 at 4:57 PM on April 21, 2004


I use these two links when I teach my Asian theatre class. Understanding the concept of Yugen is absolutely essential to understanding Noh. Most of these are excellent links, and the rest are very good as well. Nice research, sir.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:11 PM on April 21, 2004


Oh, and, yes, understanding hana is, of course, essential as well. I am just fascinated by yugen...
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:13 PM on April 21, 2004


dfowler: "Noh theater is over 500 years old..."

interlocutor: "That's not true. What about the Greeks?"

dfowler: "...."
posted by dfowler at 8:11 AM on April 22, 2004


Most of these are excellent links, and the rest are very good as well. Nice research, sir.

Agreed. Noh is fascinating and I appreciate this collection.
posted by y2karl at 8:29 AM on April 22, 2004


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