Long Beach City College Kabuk

If you were to travel to Ginza in Japan to see a Kabuki performance, discuss the ritual elements and the social context of the dance form you would see.

the book is called Dancing through history by Joan Class

response 1

If I were to go see a Kabuki performance today, I would see that Kabuki is actually performed by female impersonators. The female impersonators would be styled in the manner of a popular puppet tradition: their faces would be covered in different/bizarre make-up, with straight eyebrows and rosebud lips painted over a thick, liquid white-rice powder. The performers are then taught not to smile, so they would be performing with straight faces. Singing and dancing are performed in a highly stylized style in this popular Japanese play. A stunning combination of music, dance, mime, and spectacular production and costume are displayed in the performance. Kabuki distinguishes between historical and domestic plays. The plays are usually presented in that sequence, with one or two dance pieces depicting ghosts, courtesans, and other exotic creatures interspersed. Then the play will conclude with a huge cast doing a boisterous dance finale.

Response 2 Kabuki is a famous theater art form of Japan, in which there is a combination of music, costumes, acting, dancing. Male Kabuki actors will act as female characters, from graceful gestures to soft voices. Kabuki is an artistic creation that originated in a dance initiated by a girl around the 1600s. When initially tested, Kabuki was controversial because it carried slightly obscene humor. Therefore, for a long time, this type of play was banned in Japan. Kabuki is divided into two main genres of drama: Jidaimono (historical plays dealing with important historical events in Japan), Sewamono (reflecting people’s lives and passionate love stories, feelings, and emotion). Finally, Shosagoto, which is a musical combined with dance.
One of Kabuki’s most central dramatic themes is the clash between morality and human emotion. The moral ideals of the Japanese people, both historically and today, are mainly based on the religious philosophies of Shinto, Buddhism, and Confucianism, which tend to emphasize qualities such as devotion to others, elders, and community. Characteristic kabuki shows are characterized by their elaborate costumes, exaggerated wigs, vivid makeup, over-the-top action, and male performers’ presence. Since the dialogue contains traditional Japanese words that are difficult for even native speakers to follow (“Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku” 2020), it is intentional to focus on movement to convey meaning to the audience. If you travel to Japan, attend the performance, and you are not good at Japanese, there is no need to worry because, at theaters like Kabukiza or National Theater in Tokyo, there are headsets with English instructions

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