Complete Series: 4011
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
The Martial Arts of Kabuki
from the National Theater Institute of Japan
NAKAMURA MATAGORO BANDO YAENOSUKE
Nakamura, Matajiro Nakamura, Mataichi
KlSHI, NOBUTAKA KlHARA, HlROKAZU
Tanaka, Shinji Nakamura, Namio Matsuoka, Yutaka motohashi, norio
Thursday Evening, October 21, 1976, at 8:30
Power Center for the Performing Arts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Fundamental Techniques oj Kabuki Tachimawari (Battle Scenes)
Tachimawari (battle scenes) of Japan's Kabuki theater are not only a display of martial arts' prowess and weaponry; they are carefully composed sequences in which the performers, using classical Japanese weapons, present beautiful patterns of movement accompanied by music. Tachimawari is one of Kabuki's characteristically "stylized" and nonrealistic elements.
Kabuki stylization derives, in part, from the incorporation of classical movement patterns (kala) handed down from the past. As in other aspects of Kabuki, the many fundamental kala of tachimawari have specific names by which they are known. There are between fifty and eighty basic patterns associated with the stage usage of such weapons as the sword, the long pole, the halberd, and the jitte (a pronged metal truncheon). The names of the kala are often selfdescriptive, viz., yamagala ("mountain shape"), tenchi ("heaven and earth"), hiki otoshi ("pulling down"), haneage ("leaping up"), osaekomi ("pinning down"), etc.
In composing a tachimawari sequence the choreographerspecialist (tateshi) selects appropriate movements from the reservoir of basic patterns and tics them together in a suitably appealing fashion; the kala are, in a sense, the words from which the language of tachimawari is formed. A wellconstructed tachimawari must flow as beautifully as a wellcomposed sentence. The "punctu?ation" of a tachimawari is comprised of various poses called kimari and mic. These are among the most unique elements of Kabuki acting. One might say that the kimari is equivalent to a comma, while the mie corresponds to a period.
The effect of a mie is to indicate the end of a movement and intensify the character's emotion, as in a motion picture "closeup." The kimari is a means whereby the acting is heightened through the use of momentary pauses, like the "freezeframe" effect of a film, before the actor proceeds to his next movement.
Sixth Annual Asian Series
Complete Programs 4011
Nakamura, Mataichi Nakamura, Matajiro Koike, Mitsuyoshi
Nakamura, Namio motohachi, norio
Tachiyaku no lachimawari (Male Battle Scene) from "Chushingura"
Chiishingura, the most famous Kabuki drama, tells the story of the revenge of the 47 loyal retainers of Lord Enya Hangan, who had been provoked by K6 no Moronao into drawing his sword in court, a crime for which he punished himself by committing harakiri. (The story is based on an actual vendetta which raged in 1702.) After one year of plotting, Lord Hangan's loyal re?tainers attacked K6 no Moronao's mansion and did battle with his supporters. The present lachimawari form a part of this scene, which falls in the drama's eleventh act. The samurai seen fighting on Moronao's side is a famous swordsman of the day, Shimizu Ichigaku, while Takemori Kitahachi does combat for the avengers. They confront one another in the mansion's snowcovered garden near a fountain.
Shimizu Ichigaku .... Nakamura, Matajiro
Takemori Kitahachi .... Koike, Mitsuyoshi
Onnagata no Tachimawari (Female Battle Scene)
Since the 17th century female roles in Kabuki have been played by males. In this fighting scene two women use umbrellas and branches as weapons. First woman .... Nakamura, Mataichi Second woman .... Motohashi, Norio
From Jiraiya Monogalari
Jiraiya, a man presumed to be a bandit, is actually a samurai battling the forces of evil. He has acquired from an old sage the power to become a toad and use his superhuman powers to wreak havoc on the evil usurpers of his family's position.
In this segment, Jiraiya, first in the guise of a toad, uses a distinctive quickchange technique right on stage (the hikinuki technique), and then appears as his true self. Jiraiya .... Kihara, Hirokazu
From Omi no Okane
Okane, a young laundress, lives on the shore of Lake Biwa in Omi. She is famous in her village for her great strength. One day, as she carries a big tub filled with cloth to be bleached at the lake, she is accosted by two boatsmen. The powerful Okane repulses them by adroit manipula?tion of the cloth.
Omi no Okane .... Tanaka, Shinji
First boatsman .... Nakamura, Namio
Second boatsman .... Motohashi, Norio
From Hama Matsukaze
In this segment of a longer dancedrama, Kofuji, a fishergirl, has gone mad from longing for her lover, Ariwara, who has gone to the capital. As she wanders along the beach, a fisherman, Konobei, who loves her, comes along and attempts to woo her. He is unsuccessful. This enrages him and he assaults her, but she makes a fool of him, using an oar, a rope, and a sword as weapons. Kojuji .... Matsuoka, Yutaka Konobei .... Miyawaki, Shinji
Kujira no Danmari
Aomi no Taro, a samurai, has gone down into the sea to search for his lord's lost heirloom sword, Ganryumaru. In the process, he is swallowed by a whale. By good fortune, Aomi no Taro
finds the sword in the whale's belly, uses it to cut his way out of the whale, and rises to the surface of the sea. As he emerges, a crowd of reptilian creatures besiege him, but Aomi no Tard defeats them.
Aomi no Tard .... Kishi, Nobutaka Reptilian Creatures ....
Kagamiyama Kokyo no Nishikie
Lady Iwafuji of the Iruma family has been plotting with her brother to usurp the family's power. A faithful lady of the family palace, Onoe, and her ladyinwaiting, Ohatsu, try to thwart these plans. Lady Iwafuji substitutes a sandal for the treasured Iruma family incense, which has been entrusted to Onoe, and accuses Onoe as the thief. In the presence of others, Lady Iwafuji slaps her with the sandal (an enormous insult in Japanese eyes). Mortified, Onoe commits suicide. Ohatsu revenges her mistress by killing Lady Iwafuji. The following two scenes from this play will be presented.
Onoe, who plans to commit suicide, has ostensibly written a letter to her mother. With this letter in a box, Ohatsu leaves the palace to deliver the letter but, hearing the eerie sound of a crow cawing, she somehow feels ill at ease. A retainer of Lady Iwafuji, Ushijima Chikara, enters. He wants to deliver to Lady Iwafuji the incense which he has stolen from Onoe's room. He becomes embroiled in a battle with Datehei, a servant who has pursued him. Ohatsu also gets involved in the fray. In the confusion, Ohatsu drops the letterbox. She sees that the letter within is actually her mistress's will. Shocked, she rushes back to Onoe's room but she is too late. Onoe has committed suicide.
Ohatsu .... Matsuoka, Yutaka
Ushijima Chikara .... Miyawaki, Shinji
Datehei .... Kihara, Hirokazu or Nakamura, Matajiro
Chugen Bekunai .... Koike, Mitsuyoshi
Ohatsu decides to kill Lady Iwafuji. When Lady Iwafuji comes to the palace garden in order to hide a Buddhist image she has stolen from the Iruma family, Ohatsu, who has been hiding nearby, confronts her and places on her head the sandal which disgraced her mistress. She then attacks Lady Iwafuji who drops the Buddhist image. Ohatsu, who knows not only that Iwafuji was her mistress's enemy but that she is also a traitor, fights her with all the power at her command and kills her. However, even though she was a villain, Lady Iwafuji was the chief of the palace ladies; Ohatsu, realizing the enormity of her deed, prepares to take her own life in recompense. Fortunately, the Iruma retainer Iozaki Motome has heard the commotion and comes quickly to the scene. He stops Ohatsu from harming herself and, in recognition of her loyalty, allows her the honor of calling herself Onoe II.
Lady Iwafuji .... Nakamura, Mataichi
Iozaki Motome .... Motohashi, Norio
Kurokawa Umpei .... Kishi, Nobutaka
Ohalsu .... Kishi, Nobutaka
Servants .... Tanaka, Shinji and Nakamura, Namio
Program Notes translated by Samuel L. Leiter
Spanish National Folk Ballet........ Monday, October 25
Orchestre de ParisBarenboim......Wednesday, October 27
Julian Bream, Guitarist.........Sunday, October 31
Justino Diaz, Bass..........Monday, November 1
Guarneri String Quartet......(sold out) Friday, November 5
Guarneri String Quartet........Saturday, November 6
Chinese Acrobats..........Saturday, November 6
Ruth Laredo, Pianist..........Sunday, November 7
Victor Herbert's Naughty Marietta......Friday & Saturday,
November 12 & 13 London Philharmonic OrchestraHaitink . . . Sunday, November 14
Elly Ameling, Soprano.........Tuesday, November 16
Aeolian Chamber Players........Saturday, November 20
Handel's "Messiah"........Friday, Saturday, Sunday,
December 3, 4, 5 Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.....Thursday, Friday, Saturday,
The Pittsburgh Ballet December 16, 17, 18
Verdi's La Traviata--Canadian Opera Company .... Sunday, January 9
JeanPierre Rampal, Flutist......(sold out) Friday, January 14
Prague Chamber Orchestra........Saturday, January IS
Michael Ponti, Pianist.........Tuesday, January 25
Royal Winnipeg Ballet.........Saturday & Sunday
January 29 & 30
Danzas Venezuela.........Wednesday, February 2
Warsaw Quintet (piano and strings).....Thursday, February 3
Jorge Bolet, Pianist..........Saturday, February 5
Rajko--Gypsy Orchestra and Dancers.....Sunday, February 6
Leningrad Symphony OrchestraTemirkanov . . . Thursday, February 10
Guarneri String Quartet........Saturday, February 19
Guarneri String Qartet......(sold out) Sunday, February 20
Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.....Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
February 21, 22, 23
JeanPierre Rampal, Flutis.....(sold out) Friday, February 25
Yamini Krishnamurti, South Indian Dancer .... Monday, February 28 Czech Philharmonic OrchestraNeumann .... Thursday, March 3
Janos Starker, Cellist..........Monday, March 14
Masked DanceDrama of Korea......Wednesday, March 16
Detroit Symphony OrchestraChoral UnionSoloists . . Sunday, March 20
Ceccato conducts Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis" Frans Brueggen, Flute & Recorder . . . (sold out) Tuesday, March 22
Yugoslav National Folk Ballet.......Thursday, March 24
Osipov Balalaika Orchestra........Saturday, March 26
Third Annual Benefit Concert........Friday, April 15
Guarneri String Quartet.........Saturday & Sunday
April 16 & 17
May Festival.........Wednesday through Saturday,
April 27, 28, 29, 30
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
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