Programme Reviews :
A new series of Kabuki Plays first broadcast on
NHK, Japan’s Public Broadcasting Company.
All filmed at Tokyo’s famed Kabuki-za Theatre.
All DVDs with optional English Commentary.
The great Kabuki actors presented here have performed abroad occasionally; here’s what the international critics have said:
“…Kanjincho…is a masterpiece….strange to our eyes and ears, but nevertheless, the quintessence of theatre.”
“As a stupid servant who has gulped enough sake for a whole party, Kanzaburo staggers around the resonant dancing platform with joy and confusion like Chaplin in his earliest pictures.”
“……the actors can express humanity with all the richness of their Western colleagues.”
“…the hardened, skeptical theater-goer can recapture something of that awe he had for the theater as a child…”
“… one of the company’s stars, Shoroku, has to perfection this Kabuki skill of acting more with his heart that with his face….the agony of this man…surges with the patent
inevitability of accepted fate, and agony too profound even to question why.”
“…finesse and delicacy with which NAKAMURA Utaemon VI portrayed the sufferings of the unfaithful wife was a remarkable subtle exhibition.”
“I think you will be surprised at how moved you are when NAKAMURA Utaemon, a skilled male actor playing the forlorn and misjudged wife, turns his head gravely from side to side and passes his hands through the empty air in rhythmically precise and utterly evocative, sorrow.”
“…the past is brought to life again in front of our eyes. Kabuki is a mirror on Japan of the past, where elegance and violence, refined beauty and cruelty existed side by side.”
“……a fabulous image bank to enrich the imagination of any theatre-goer, and for the sake of two actors, NAKAMURA Utaemon and NAKAMURA Ganjiro, who clearly emerge as master artists…” The Times of London
“ The female impersonator NAKAMURA Utaemon is more feminine than any actress. Since he has consciously created a feminine style of acting, he is able to express gentleness, deep embarrassment, and deep suspicion through form”.
“… magnificent, wonderful, ravishing, beautiful, awe-inspiring….A list of superlatives, however, cannot begin to convey the specific wonders of Kabuki, or the mastery of the form that is now on display.”
“For all its stylized classicism, Kabuki is a breath of fresh theatrical air. It is consummate proof that theater can transmit powerful emotions kinetically as well as verbally, aurally as well as visually….What Kabuki offers us is the excitement of absorbing theater through the senses rather than through the mind and the rare joy of sitting on the edge of a theater seat breathless awaiting the next move.”
“The acting of this extraordinary piece is uniformly high in quality. Ennosuke’s greatness can be seen in the fact that, after his beautiful rendering of the old woman, his demon seems a mere jack-o’-lantern scare until it, too, displays human feelings.
Click for Film Synopses What is Kabuki? and order information
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