April Grand Kabuki, Matinee
ATARU TOSHI IWAU HARUKOMA (Spring Hobbyhorses and the Soga Brothers)
The story of the revenge of the Soga brothers is one of the favorite themes of kabuki. Here it is transformed into a fanciful dance using hobbyhorses, children's toys that were one of the sights of the New Year. Starring Karoku, Shido, Kantaro and Shichinosuke.
YORITOMO NO SHI (The Death of Yoritomo)
A play by Mayama Seika first presented in 1932. Minamoto no Yoritomo created a strong warrior government, but died very soon, leaving things to his son Yoriie (Baigyoku). But Yoriie feels that there is something suspicious about his father’s death and is in torment because even though he is supposed to be the most powerful man in the land, no one will tell him anything. It ends with a confrontation with his mother Hojo Masako, who is ready to kill her own son rather than let the truth out that could destroy their rule. She declares that a man has only one short life, but the clan must survive to the end of time. Featuring Living National Treasure Shikan as Masako.
MEOTO DOJOJI (Male and Female Dojoji)
Musume Dojoji is based on a legend about a woman transformed into a serpent out of jealousy and who destroys a temple bell keeping her from the object of her love. The original dance shows the spirit of the woman who appears at Dojoji temple as a dancer who wants to celebrate the dedication of a new bell and does a series of dances showing the many faces of femininity. In this version there are two dancers and one is revealed to be a man in disguise and, in the highlight of the dance, transforms the romantic highpoint of the original piece into a comic scene by using masks. Starring Kanzaburo as the female dancer and Nizaemon as the male dancer.
KIICHI HOGEN SANRYAKU NO MAKI
- KIKUBATAKE (The Chrysanthemum Garden) -
A great classic of period play kabuki originally adapted from the Bunraku puppet theatre, full of larger-than-life characters and a stage full of dazzling color, celebrating the new Kinnosuke.
In a garden of brilliant yellow and white chrysanthemums, there is Kiichi, an elderly strategist working for the dictator Kiyomori, his beautiful daughter Minazuru (Tokizo) and two footmen, the elegant young Torazo (Kinnosuke) and the powerful Chienai (Kichiemon). But in fact, Torazo is a young general from the enemy side here to steal Kiichi’s secrets of strategy. Chienai is his retainer. But Kiichi has realized why they are there and also knows that Chienai is actually his younger brother. At the same time, Minazuru has fallen deeply in love with Torazo. Featuring Living National Treasure Tomijuro as Kiichi.
- Tokaiya or Ikari-Tomomori by Shoroku at the National Thetre(2011.07.23)