ERIC Number: ED236712
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-8
Reference Count: 0
Learning From the Treasures: Acting Techniques from the Classic Japanese Theater and Their Relationship to the West.
Magidson, David J.
Attempts to apply elements of Japanese theatre to western productions, though commendable, are frequently unsuccessful. Effective use of the Japanese theatre's acting or production techniques requires knowledge of the forces producing its specific styles and techniques. Noh and Kabuki drama harmonize music, dance, and drama to create an awareness of elegance, form, the universe, peace, the role of humanity, and beauty. Scrupulously preserved over centuries, these plays try to reproduce an ideal form--never a major concern in western theatre. Western adaptations fail because they adopt the masks, costumes, and movement of Japanese theatre without considering the function these stylized elements were designed to fulfill. The search for an aesthetic as chronicled by the great Japanese actors of the past offers valuable lessons to Western theatre. Anyone looking for guidance from the Japanese theatre or any foreign art form must assimilate a set of cultural realities first and then metamorphose that into an art form. In terms of technique, this requires total immersion in the culture's form and content, rather than imitation of its surface. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Kabuki; Noh Theater
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Theatre Association (Minneapolis, MN, August 7-10, 1983).