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Backstage to Hanamichi
A Behind the Scenes Look at the Color, Magic and Drama of Kabuki
A Lecture and Performance

Monday, October 19, 2009, 7 pm

Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
200 University St, Seattle, WA 98101-3428

Tickets: $20 & $10
BOX OFFICE: (206) 215-4747
Benaroya Hall
*Ticket can be purchased without a service fee at Benaroya Box Office in person.

INFORMATION: scbjcf@earthlink.net



The Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle, in cooperation with the Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival Committee, is pleased to announce a Seattle presentation of the traveling Kabuki lecture and performance,Backstage to Hanamichi - A Behind the Scenes Look at the Color, Magic and Drama of Kabuki,” with lead actors Nakamura Kyozo and Nakamura Matanosuke of the world-renowned Shochiku Company.

Kabuki is the highly stylized classical Japanese dance-drama with its magnificent beauty and highly refined artistry, making it a rare jewel among the great theater traditions of the world.  Its actors must undergo years of rigorous training in order to master its three artistic components of music (ka), dance (bu)and drama (ki) before being allowed to perform in front of an audience.  In order to create the magic that is seen on stage, the kabuki actor is supported backstage by a team of unseen artisans and craftsman including costumer stylists, wig masters, musicians and prop masters.

Kabuki details; please visit Web Japan http://web-japan.org/factsheet/en/pdf/e30_kabuki.pdf

“Backstage to Hanamichiprovides the audience with a rare glimpse into the traditional world of this centuries-old theater and the painstaking preparations that leads up to an actor's grand entrance onto the hanamichi(runway)and to thestage. 

The lecture/performance includes performances of two kabuki dance classics: Sagi Musume (The Heron Maiden) and Shakkyo (Lion Dance), contrasting the lyrical style of the onnagata (actor specializing in female roles) with dynamic, acrobatic style in the heroic Lion Dance.


Optional Event
"Kabuki Forum"
-Let's learn what Kabuki is-
9th Oct at Panama Hotel


WHAT: Kabuki Lecture and Performance (“Sagimusume” and “Shakkyo”)

“Sagimusume”Sagimusume was first performed at Ichimura-za in Edo (1792 Tokyo) as one performance of “Yanaginihinasho Chonosaezuri.”  For a long time it remained a one time performance until Ichikawa Danjuro IX revived it in 1886.There is a willow under the night sky. A female dressed in pure white is standing by the willow with an umbrella. In fact, the female embodies the spirit of the white heron. Gradually she changes to a maiden.She is suddenly reminded of an unsuccessful love and suffers from a broken heart. She struggles in pain falling down to the ground.

This piece is included within the dance category “Shakkyo-mono,” which means lion dances inspired by “Shakkyo” of the Noh theatre.  “Shakkyo” is a stone bridge in front of the Seiryo Mountain where bodhisattva lives, guarded by lions.  In Kabuki theatre, there are two scenes: the first consists of dance by human character(s) and second consists of lion(s) dancing. 
In the middle of the Edo era, most lion dances were of the lioness.
Near the Meiji period, “Renjishi” and “Kagamijishi” were introduced. “Shishi” means lion but basically “Shishi” is a mythical creature and often appears in ceremonial occasions.  In this presentation, “Shakkyo” is an excellent example of tachi-yaku dance performance together with the onnagata as a lioness.


WHO: Kabuki actors

Nakamura Kyozo and Nakamura Matanosuke from Shochiku

Nakamura Kyozo was born in 1955 in Tokyo. He graduated from the Hosei University (Bachelor degree in Japanese Literature). He joined the Japan Arts Council’s Training School for Kabuki Actors as a 6 term trainee. In September 1982, he commenced in a professional career as a member of the Nakamura Jakuemon IV (a Living National Treasure of Japan) family under the acting name, Nakamura Kyozo, which was newly given by his master. Ever since, he has continued working as a professional Kabuki actor through monthly performances in Kabuki-za (Tokyo), National Theatre (Tokyo), Osaka Shochiku-za, Minami-za (Kyoto), Misono-za (Nagoya), Hakata-za (Fukuoka) etc., as well as other domestic tours of Kabuki performances throughout Japan. He also participates in lecture and performance tours of kabuki in other regions around the world including Europe, North America, Oceania, and South East Asia.
In 1994, he was promoted to Nadai (billboard-ranked actor) in Kabuki-za. He has been authorized as a holder of the “Important Intangible Cultural Properties Kabuki.”In addition, he works as a lecturer of Drama Studio at the New National Theatre and part-time lecturer of the faculty of Education at Chiba University.

Nakamura Matanosuke was born in 1963. After graduating from the National Theatre’s Training School for Kabuki Actors in 1986, he embarked on a professional career as a “tachi-yaku” or a male role actor under the guidance of Nakamura Matagoro (a Living National Treasure). He was promoted to Nadai (billboard-ranked actor) in 1998 and received the award, the Encourage Prize, from the Japan Actor’s Association in 1998.



Nagauta Ensemble
Yoshimura Ichishiro: Singer   
Yoshimura Ishinosuke: Singer
Kineya Shoen: Shamisen player
Kineya Rokujiro: Shamisen player
Tanaka Dentaro: Flutist   
Mochizuki Tashu: Taiko drummer
Mochizuki Takijuro: Ko-Tsuzumi drummer


Local Media Contact:
Akira Takeda
Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle/Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival Committee
c/o 601 Union St., Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98101
P. 206.682.9107 ext. 134


The Seattle presentation is co-organized by the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Committee and the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle, in cooperation with the Japan Foundation.




Presented by
The Japan Foundation
Shochiku, Co., Ltd.

Co-presented by
Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
Japan Society of Southern California 100th Anniversary

Co-organized by
Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles
Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco
Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle
Consulate-General of Japan in Portland
Consulate-General of Japan in Denver

Supported by
Japan Society of Northern California
Japan America Society of Nevada
LA Tokyo-kai
Japanese Association of Colorado

Japan-America Society of Oregon
Sponsored by
Miyako Hotel Los Angeles
PENTAX Imaging Company
Denver Tofu
Pacific Mercantile Company


performances in other locations;

Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, October 15, 2009, 2 & 8 pm
Japanese American Cultural and Community Center
Aratani/Japan America Theatre
244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
BOX OFFICE: (213) 680-3700
INFORMATION: (213) 628-2725 ext. 133
$25 General
$20 JACCC Members

San Francisco, CA
Saturday, October 17, 2009, 2pm
San Francisco State University
McKenna Theatre
1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132
BOX OFFICE: (415) 338-2467
INFORMATION: http://creativearts.sfsu.edu
$10 Student/Faculty Staff/Senior in advance     $15 at the door
$15 General in advance     $20 at the door

Portland, OR
Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 7pm
Portland State University
The Dolores Winningstad Theatre
111 SW Broadway (at Main Street), Portland, OR 97205
BOX OFFICE: (503)248-4335
INFORMATION: ron@pcpa.com
$20 General, $12 Senior/Students

Denver, CO
Saturday, October 24, 2009, 7pm
Japan America Society of Colorado
June Swaner Gates Concert Hall
2344 E, Lliff Ave, Denver, CO 80208
BOX OFFICE: (303)871-7720
Ticket: ticketmaster.com (800)982-2787 or Ticketmaster Outlets
$25 General