Shizuka (静御前)

Reflection on Funa-benkei

shizukaSalt
air and tears
mingled with
the flowing 淀川
as Shizuka
danced.

There was a time
when she
had danced
for rain.

Now in this
dry season –
autumn leaves
crumpled, scattered
broken
like pages
of a forgotten book
beneath her feet
by the boathouse.

Bridled
with sake
and uncertainty
her sleeves quavered
her steps
faltering.

Finished.

The boatman
called out
for departure –
as she turned
her back,
as she walked
away.

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About Theatre Nohgaku

Noh, one of the oldest continuing stage arts, combines highly stylized dance, chant, music, mask and costume with intense inner concentration and physical discipline, creating a uniquely powerful theatrical experience. Theatre Nohgaku’s mission is to share noh’s beauty and power with English speaking audiences and performers. We have found that this traditional form retains its dramatic effectiveness in languages other than Japanese. We believe noh techniques hold a powerful means of expression in the context of contemporary English language theatre.
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