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March Grand Kabuki: Matinee

HARU NO KOTOBUKI (Three Dances for Spring)
    Sambaso
The Sambaso is an auspicious dance based on the ritual play Okina in the classical Noh theater which shows an old man as a symbol of longevity and the energetic Sambaso as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. With Gato as the Okina, his son Shinnosuke as the Senzai attendant and Kasho and Kanjaku as the Sambaso.
    Manzai
Manzai are performers with hand drums that would go from door to door on New Year Days to perform auspicious songs and dances. This dance shows the lively songs of the Manzai, here performed by Baigyoku.
    Yashiki Musume (The Samurai Lady-in-Waiting)
This dance shows two young women who are service at a samurai mansion and are excitedly going home for their one break in service for the year. Starring Senjaku and Takataro.
ICHINOTANI FUTABA GUNKI (Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani)
- Jinmon and Kumiuchi (The Heike Camp and the Battle on Suma Beach) -
One of the greatest stories from the Japanese tradition is the encounter of the Genji warrior Kumagai and the young Heike general Atsumori. Although they are enemies, Kumagai would like to spare Atsumori because he is the same age as his own son, but the necessities of wartime force him to kill Atsumori nonetheless and this experience fills Kumagai with disgust at warfare and makes him become a priest. This kabuki version of the story is filled with plot twists to emphasize the pathos of the situation. Starring Danjuro as Kumagai and Living National Treasure Sakata Tojuro as Atsumori, with Kaishun as Atsumori's lover Princess Tamaori.
ONNA DATE (The Chivalrous Woman)
Living National Treasure Kikugoro, stars as a woman in the pleasure quarters who swaggers and fights in the finest gallant style but who has a delicate sense of femininity as well.
KURUWA BUNSHO (A Letter from the Pleasure Quarters)
The roots of this play go back to the earliest days of kabuki. Izaemon, the son of a wealthy family, has been disowned for loving a courtesan and now has nothing but a paper kimono. This role is a classic example of the wagoto or soft style of acting that is one of the representative acting styles of the Kansai region. Nizaemon stars as Izaemon, a role that is a specialty of his family's Kansai acting style. Featuring Fukusuke as his lover, the courtesan Yugiri, Sadanji and Hidetaro as the proprietor and proprietress of the Yoshidaya teahouse and Ainosuke as a comic entertainer in the pleasure quarters.

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