■ GRAND JAPAN THEATER: OVERVIEW
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Performance at 20:00 (Doors open at 19:30)
Ebizo Ichikawa XI
Kurouemon Katayama, Kisho Umewaka, Yoshimasa Kanze
Tadao Kamei, Hirotada Kamei
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
57th and Seventh, NEW YORK, NY 10019
A/C/B/D/1- Get off at 59th Street / Columbus Circle. (elevator available)
N/Q/R- Get off at 57th Street / Seventh Avenue. (elevator available)
B/D/E- Get off at Seventh Avenue.
F- Get off at 57th Street / Sixth Avenue.
3Top Co. Ltd.
In Association with
Japanese American Association of New York
GRAND JAPAN THEATER Executive Committee
Production Assisted by
Zen-A PLANNING Co. Ltd. , Cheerful Co. Ltd.
Sankyokai Planning , Sound Wing Ltd.
Under the Auspices of
Consulate General of Japan in New York
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
The Japan Foundation
In Cooperation with
Shochiku Co. Ltd.
Dress Circle $50-$100
Second Tier $100-$200
First Tier $300
* Student Discount Tickets Available at the Box Office
EBIZO ICHIKAWA XI
Ebizo Ichikawa XI has an extraordinary passion towards “Shin-Kabuki Juhachiban,” the “New Eighteen Favourite Plays" of the Ichikawa family. His fierce performances, appearance, frame, and voice beam with superhuman radiance.
In 2003, Ebizo played the leading role in MUSASHI, NHK’s “taiga drama” (historical fiction) series; in 2011, he starred in the movie Ichimei (Harakiri: Death of a Samurai), which garnered nomination at the Cannes Film Festival in France. He is proactively involved in a wide range of activities from dramas to movies in addition the kabuki performances overseas such as that at the Paris Opera; expectations are high for him to make the next leap forward as a kabuki actor.
1977: Born in Tokyo as the first son of Ebizo Ichikawa X (Danjuro Ichikawa XII).
1983: Made his first appearance at the Kabukiza Theatre, playing the role of “Harumiya” in Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji).
1985: Played the role of “Kikanbo” in Uiro-uri (The Medicine Peddler) at the Kabukiza Theatre and was bestowed the name Shinnosuke Ichikawa VII.
2004~: Succeeded to Ebizo Ichikawa XI at the Kabukiza Theatre.
Starting from Tokyo, the new Ebizo held performances across the nation in cities such as Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Fukuoka to name a few, to commemorate his succession.
In October, he became the first kabuki actor to hold commemorative performances at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, which ended on a high note with sold-out shows.
May-June 2006: Performed in London and Amsterdam.
The tour received high acclaim and garnered a Laurence Olivier nomination in London.
September 2006: Premiered first starring movie Deguchi No Nai Umi (Sea Without Exit).
March 2007: Performed at the Paris Opera.
September 2009: Performed at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo in Monaco.
June 2010: Performed in London and Rome.
2011: Premiered starring movie Ichimei (Harakiri: Death of a Samurai), which was nominated in the Cannes Film Festival.
September-October 2012: Performed Ishibashi, a noh drama, as well as Renjishi, a kabuki dance drama based on Ishibashi as part of “Ebizo Ichikawa XI: Koten e no Izanai” (Invitation to Classics), a series he had designed himself.
August 2013: Performed ABKAI, his first independent performance at at Bunkamura Theater Cocoon in Shibuya, Tokyo, and revived Jayanagi (Snake Willow), one of the “Shin-kabuki Juhachiban” as well as performed Hanasaka Jiisan, a newly created kabuki drama.
December 2013: Premiered starring movie Rikyu ni Tazuneyo Ask This of Rikyu).
April 2014: Performed Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) at the Minami-za as a collaborative project of kabuki, opera, and noh.
April-June 2014: Played the role of Kentaro Yachida in NTV drama Yowakutemo Katemasu.
August 2014: Performed ABKAI 2014, his second independent performance at Shimbashi Enbujo, in which he played SOU, a newly created choreodrama.
November 2014: Performed “JAPAN THEATER” at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The Theater consisted of Renjishi (Lion Dance), a kabuki choreodrama, Shakkyo (Stone Bridge), a noh play, and rakugo-narrative Tenshiki.
The Kanze School shite-kata Noh Actor
Kuroemon Katayama was born in 1964 as the eldest son of Yusetsu Katayama (Kurouemon Katayama IX). His sister Yachiyo Inoue heads the Inoue School of Kyo-mai (traditional dance in the Kyoto region). He studied under his father and Tetsunojo Kanze VIII, and now heads the Katayama Teiki Nogakkai (Katayama Periodical Noh Performance Association).
He is a recipient of various awards including Kyoto Prefecture Cultural Prize, Encouragement Award, Best Young Artist Award by City of Kyoto, Emerging Talent Award from MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology) etc. He is the general holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property. He also serves as director of the Kyoto Kanze Kai Public Interest Incorporated Foundation and executive director of the Katayama Noh and Kyomai Preservation Public Interest Incorporated Foundation.
The Kanze School shite-kata Noh Actor
Kisho Umewaka was born on September 18, 1956 to the 500-year lineage of the Kanzeryu Umewaka School. He studied under his grandfather, the venerable Rokuro Umewaka LV and the current descendant, Umewaka Rokuro Gensho LVI.
He performed his first stage in 1960 as the kokata (child role) in Kurama Tengu. He performed his first shite-kata (leading role) in 1968 in Kosode Soga.
In 1982, he founded a noh association “Baieikai”. He mentor the many members of the association and performs a number of noh stages. In Decmeber 2010, he succeeded the name Kisho Umewaka II. A general holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property, he is the member of the Noh-gaku Performers’ Association and also serves as executive director of Umewaka Noh-gaku Institute.
The Kanze School shite-kata Noh Actor
Yoshimasa Kanze was born in Tokyo in 1970 as the eldest son of Yoshiyuki Kanze, the third-generation master of the Kanze Yarai School of Noh. He performed on stage for the first time in 1973 at a tender age of two years and seven months. He self-produces performances through “No-u, No-u, Noh" and “Yoshimasa no Kai” as well as in “Kamiasobi” and “Noh no Tabibito.” With Yarai Nogaku Theater in Kagurazaka, Tokyo as home base, he acts at various performances across the nation in addition to promoting the art as well as giving lectures.
He received a bachelor’s degree in law from Keio University, and serves as executive director of Kanze Kyukyo Association and executive director of the Noh-gaku Performers’ Association. He is an instructor at the graduate school of Hosei University, Kokugakkan University, and the Intercultural Theatre Institute in Singapore. He is a general holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property.
Ippei Shigeyama made his acting debut at the tender age of four, taking a child’s role in Narihiramochi. He went on to perform Chitose, Sanbaso, Tsurigitsune, and Hanago. He has participated in overseas performances held in the United States, Spain, Italy, and France to name a few.
On the other hand, he also appears in film, TV, TV commercials and various forms of theater, such as Toei movie Shogun’s Shadows, as well as NHK morning drama series Carnation, Audrey, and Gochisosan.
He is involved in a wide range of activities, such as the new challenge with his elder brother Motohiko in which they created a new drama entitled Motohiko & Ippei’s That’s Entertainment: Osoreirimasu, Shakespeare-san (Excuse me, Mr. Shakespeare).
He is also a member of a kyogen unit “HANAGATA” along with Masakuni, Motohiko, Shigeru, and Doji.
Through the “HANAGATA” activities in which they design, produce, and perform by themselves, he aims that the audience fully enjoy the fascination of kyogen while he strive for versatility.
Ippei Shigeyama studied in France for one year from fall 2006, as an Agency for Cultural Affairs rising artist overseas deployment trainee.
He was the recipient of the Best Young Artist Award by the City of Kyoto in 2011.
Noh-gaku Hayashi Musician, Kadono School Otsuzumi
Tadao Kamei was born in 1941. He studied with his father, the Living National Treasure Toshio Kamei, as well as Kyuen Kawasaki and Yoshiki Yoshimi. He debuted in 1949 at age seven, in the performance of “Yuya”, and played “Okina” as his rite of passage.
He completed his studies at Nihon University College of Art in 1964. Designated as Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure) in 2002, he is literally the greatest active otsuzumi-drums musician.
A recipient of the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2004, Tadao Kamei is the honorary citizen of Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo. He was awarded the the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in spring 2012.
■ PROGRAM SYNOPSES
The “Okina” is one of the most highly regarded performances in Noh. The actor performing the Okina rises to the status of the gods, dedicating this ceremonial performance to peace and prosperity, and it is valued as sacred. The performance opens from the Momi-no-dan (Scene of Momi) where the kyogen-kata performs the elegant and lively dance of sanbaso, accompanied by the hayashi-musicians. The choreographed movement, karasu-tobi (skipping crow,) is one of the features of this piece. This is followed by Suzu-no-dan (Scene of Bells,) where the actor wears the kokushikijyo mask and holds delicate bells in his hands and prays for long life and happiness. The actor rhythmically steps and shakes the bells, dancing freely, and it is said to describe the sowing of seeds.
Kocho arrives bearing medicine for the general Minamoto no Raiko, who has fallen ill from an unknown sickness. A monk arrives and recites an old song, and then suddenly attacks throwing a spiderweb. Raiko draws his sword and injures the monster, but the spirit disguised as a monk disappears. Raiko and his men follow the blood trail to its hiding place. They fight the Spirit of the Spider in a courageous battle and defeat it. This is a dramatic and beautiful story of the legendary general Raiko.
A New Year celebration is taking place at the Edo palace where the shogun-general requests a dance from a young lady-in-waiting, Yayoi. While she elegantly moves, her hand reaches the shishi altar piece which suddenly comes to life and leads her away. Left behind are the two Spirits of Butterflies who dance playfully, and then the brave Spirit of the Shishi appears displaying his full gallant form. The contrasting image from the delicate woman to the heroic figure of the Spirit of the Shishi performed by the same actor is one of the highlights of this piece, as well as the lively music that accompanies and emphasizes the powerful image of the Shishi.
NOH, KYOGEN, AND KABUKI
This is the first time in America where nogaku, kyogen, and kabuki share the stage of the same venue on the same day.
Even in Japan, these three forms of traditional performing arts rarely have opportunities to share the stage of the same venue on the same day, which has something to do with the formation of each performing art.
First of all, nogaku was fully established in the late 14th century. The virtuoso father and son Kan’ami and Zeami developed the current style of nogaku, which has continued to this day. Zeami, under the aegis of the Ashikaga Shogun family who had been in the position of power at that time, further fostered nogaku. You can be pretty sure to say that it is remarkably similar to the opera in the West, which had been protected under the affection of the royals and the aristocrats. Nogaku and kyogen, which are closely related to each other, had been aficionados among then ruling class, such as court nobles and high-class samurais. In the 1600s, the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Japanese government at that time, regarded nogaku as the Shogunate’s “shikigaku” (official performing art). Thus nogaku established its high-class status and became highly inaccessible to the mass other than wealthy merchants.
On the other hand, kabuki is a performing art that was born, developed and characterized as the greatest amusement of the ordinary people in the Edo period. It is rooted in “kabuki-yo”, a performing art started by a woman named Izumo no Okuni. Ever since, kabuki has stayed with the ordinary people, has pursued their joy, and has a history of efforts to create dramas that catered to their needs. Today, it is still loved by audiences home and abroad, as an extraordinary performing art that has two contrasting characteristics: the dimension as a cultural heritage and the dimension as a form of entertainment that has the energy to attract large audiences.
Thus nogaku, kyogen, and kabuki have gone through totally different paths in terms of history and value. However, kabuki has been tremendously influenced from nogaku and kyogen; in fact, there are many kabuki dramas based on nogaku and kyogen pieces. The kabuki dance which will be performed at Carnegie Hall is the best example. In addition, the noh Tsuchigumo and kyogen Sanbaso, both of which will also be performed at Carnegie Hall, have spawned many kabuki dramas. Despite the fact that they had influenced one another, the three forms of performing arts had very few opportunities to share the stage, hampered by their aforementioned roots. Finally in the modern times, more opportunities have been made for the three forms of performing arts on the same stage. And this upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall will make a historical landmark, as the three will share the stage for the first time outside Japan. The audience at GRAND JAPAN THEATER are the people who are granted the opportunity to witness the historical moment in front of their own eyes.
We hope that you do not miss this chance of a lifetime, and that you experience the historical moment together with your friends, family, and many others.