Washington, D.C., District of Columbia

Wed., Apr. 4 & May 16, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
One way of understanding Japanese culture is through their theater. Two of the more well-known forms are Noh and Kabuki. Both with colorful costumes and masks, each has a distinct history, purpose and unique form of presentation.

This spring, Noh and Kabuki troupes from Japan will perform in DC. Prior to each of their debuts, Dr. Miyuki Yoshikami, University of Maryland, Asian Studies program, delves deeper into the meaning of each of these art forms through lecture, video clips and music.

April 4 Kurokawa Noh Theater
Kurokawa Noh is an important intangible folk cultural property which has been preserved and passed down by local farmers for almost 500 years. The stories of Noh are based in history or classical literature, structured around song and dance and presented on a very simple stage. Currently, with 160 actors, 230 masks, 400 costumes, three of the troupes are considered national treasures. Using the troupe performing at the Freer Gallery of Art, Dr. Yoshikami compares this ancient art form with current trends and demonstrates its unique method.

Location: Indicated on the Ticket
Tickets: Resident Members $15; Senior Members $13, Gen. Admission $18

April 9 and 10 Noh Theater at the Freer
The Freer Gallery of Art presents the < >. Through lecture, video, and demonstration, Dr. Miyuki Yoshikami, lecturer at the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, discusses the parallel development of the professional and amateur theaters of this ancient art form, revealing startling similarities and remarkable contrasts.
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April 27 Bunraku
The term Bunraku originally referred to the puppet tradition of Osaka developed before 1600. The Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe presents four traditional pieces, using puppets created in Japan. The puppets are one-half to full life-size. Each major character is jointly manipulated by three puppeteers, who appear on stage in full view of the audience. The main puppeteer generally appears bare-faced, while the others are “invisible” in black hoods.

Location: Indicated on ticket.
Tickets: Resident Members $15; Gen. Admission $20; Children under 10, $10

May 16 Kabuki Theater
The most well-known form of Japanese theatre is Kabuki. Perhaps its fame comes from the wild costumes and swordfights, which used real swords until the 1680s. Kabuki grew out of opposition to Noh - they wanted to shock the audience with more lively and timely stories. The first performance was in 1603. Dr. Yoshikami gives us a unique perspective of this popular theater. With demonstrations, lecture and video, we will be better prepared to witness the kabuki troupe visiting DC in July.

Location: Indicated on the Ticket
Tickets: Resident Members $15; Senior Members $13, Gen. Admission $18

Official Website: http://www.smithsonianassociates.org

Added by LindseyKoren on January 31, 2007