Exploring Japanese Traditional Theatre

Contributed by Ayako Tanigaito

[Editor’s note: Ayako Tanigaito is a student participating in the Noh Training Project 2013. Below are her reflections after the first week of the three-week process.]

ayako_tanigaito私 は現在マサチューセッツ州にあるセーラム大学で演劇を専攻している三年生です。今回この能のワークショップに参加しようと思った主な理由は二つ。一つは、 私は日本人で演劇専攻なのにも関わらず、日本の伝統演劇である能や歌舞伎については、無知といっても良いほど詳しい事は知りません。外国人に聞かれてもま ともに答えられない自分を恥ずかしく思っていました。二つ目に、日本の伝統演劇について学ぶ事は、これから演劇を続けていく上で重要となるような何かが潜 んでいるのではないかと直感的に思ったからです。また日本人ではなく、外国人と共に学ぶ事によって、新しい視点で日本の演劇を見られるのではないかと感じ たからでもあります。
一 周目を終えて強く感じた事は、能はかなりの集中力を要するという事です。よく仕舞の稽古の際に私が指摘される事は、一々の動きを繋げる事。気持ちが途切れ た瞬間、動きの見え方に影響が出て来ます。集中力をとぎらせず、個が持っている力を生かし、それを持続させて初めて綺麗な仕舞が完成するのかなと感じまし た。
能 の仕舞は、基本的にはゆっくりですがその中には絶対的な強さがあり、その持つパワーにひたすら驚きました。まだ一周目を終えたばかりですが、「能の極意と は一体なんなのか?」「能の何が人々を魅了させているのか?」それらの質問について考えていき、自分の中で新たな発見が出来るのを楽しみにしています。 谷垣内 絢子

I am currently a junior at Salem State University majoring in Theatre. I’m from Yokohama, Japan.  There are two main reasons why I have decided to take this workshop. Even though I am Japanese and majoring in Theatre, I feel I don’t know much about Japanese traditional theatre.  I felt intuitively that learning about Japanese traditional theatre would be vitally important and something I would keep doing in the future. This workshop is also fascinating to me in that I can learn noh with non-Japanese people. It will enable me as a Japanese person to see Japanese traditional theatre from a new perspective.

After the first week, I realized how much concentration shimai requires. I am often reminded that I need to connect dots and draw lines between them. Concentration is important. If I lose concentration, the shimai looks bad. The strength of shimai is that it allows me to make use of energy that is already flowing through me. Although shimai may appear slow, there is absolute power in it. It has only been one week, but I am so excited to explore new aspects of Noh. I hope to eventually find answers to questions such as  “What is the innermost secret of Noh?” “Why do people become interested in Noh?”



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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2 Responses to Exploring Japanese Traditional Theatre

  1. Did Ayako leave any further impressions after the second and third weeks of the project? It would be interesting to read.

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