Jean-Louis Barrault, the great French
actor and mime, kindly agreed to write and appear in an introduction
to THE LOVERS' EXILE for its US television
These are his comments:
"The art of theatre has always drawn it's vitality from popular
imagination. Sometimes this imagination uses puppets, sometimes
storytelling. In Bunraku we find the marriage of the two.
The storyteller performs the art of 'joruri'. He is the virtuoso
The puppet is given life by three manipulators. The originality
of Bunraku is that these manipulators are present - they are seen.
The master holds the puppet against his chest. His right arm gives
life to the right arm of the puppet. The master has two assistants
clothed in black. One assistant gives life to the left arm of the
puppet, the other gives life to the body, skirts, or legs. In front
of them is a platform which crosses the entire stage. This platform
is the very ground of the puppets.
And suddenly, we discover the essence of life. The life of the
master has passed into the entire body of the puppet.
The plasticity of movement is exceptional: the movement of the
spine, movement of the head, and elegance of the arms are fascinating.
And when the puppet wants to walk it glides upon the air like we
walk when we dream.
Everything is synchronized: the voice of the narrator, accent of
samisen, precision of gesture. It reaches an actual technical perfection.
And then; cruelty, charm, tears and humour strike us with maximum
intensity. Everything of life is recreated before us with authenticity.
So I say Bunraku is an incomparable art."
Jean-Louis Barrault, Paris
(CHUBEI) Living National Treasure of Japan
(UMEGAWA) Living National Treasure of Japan
(HACHIEMON & MAGOEMON) 1920-1986, National Treasure of Japan
, now Tsunadayu IX, Living National Treasure of Japan
, 1913-2002 National Treasure of Japan
, , Living National Treasure of Japan
, 1914-2001, National Treasure of Japan
, 1934-1989, National Treasure of Japan
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