February 2, 1988 |
Dance is only one component in the multifaceted stage experience of the Grand Kabuki--but it is the focus of the Koryu Kabuki company, which made its American debut Sunday in Scottish Rite Auditorium. This company of distinguished Japanese teachers (members of the Traditional Arts Exchange Society) did not neglect the theatrics of Kabuki dance: the spectacular scenery and sumptuous costumes.
February 28, 1990 |
Japan's venerable Grand Kabuki Theatre will launch its first full-scale tour of the United States this summer with 12 stops including Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, its sponsors announced today. The 65-member troupe will perform two classic plays: "Narukami" ("The Thunder God") and "Migawari Zazen" ("The Substitute Mediator"). "Narukami," one of the most popular Kabuki plays, is a colorful tale of dragons, princesses, priests, demons, seduction and spells.
May 21, 1990 |
Rich in ceremony and distinguished musicianship, the 35th anniversary program of Kabuki dance by the students of the late Kanya Sanjo V also boasted a stellar guest from the Grand Kabuki itself, Saturday at the Japan America Theatre. Tomijuro Nakamura V had led the 1986 Grand Kabuki tour of the U.S., and this return visit both honored his hosts and reminded local audiences of his extraordinary vigor and dexterity as a dancer.
January 30, 1988 |
Although local audiences regularly feast on the lavish, traditional dance-theater of the Grand Kabuki, it's been 30 years since an all-Kabuki dance troupe toured America. And that lapse may have led to misconceptions about Japanese classical dancing.
February 14, 1987 |
When is "Kabuki" not "Kabuki"? When it's neither Japanese classical theater nor a large-scale Belgian dance drama derived from Japanese sources, but merely a confusing chunk of ballet ephemera shoehorned into an otherwise familiar mixed bill. Certainly the audience for Maurice Bejart's Ballet of the 20th Century at Royce Hall, UCLA, on Thursday was never told that a ballet listed in the program as "Kabuki" was just a seven-minute solo from a two-hour, 15-minute epic of that name.
January 21, 1988 |
As the crowd hit the sidewalk after the opening of "Kabuki Macbeth" at the Doolittle on Tuesday night, there was the Acting Company's tour bus at the curb, straining to go. It was a reminder of how many times the troupe has crossed the continent since '72, of how many fine actors they've turned out--Patti Lupone, Kevin Kline, David Ogden Stiers, etc. That made you feel better about the Acting Company, but not about "Kabuki Macbeth."
February 5, 1990 |
In the last decade, Grand Kabuki tours of America became almost commonplace--with another due this summer. During the same period, smaller groups such as the Koryu Kabuki Dance Company helped heighten our appreciation of this classic, interdisciplinary Japanese theater idiom by concentrating on a central component: formal movement expression.
July 3, 1988 |
Deep within the maze of souvenir shops, restaurants and offices that honeycomb the public spaces of the Kabukiza Theater, veteran actor Senjaku Nakamura II sits sipping tea and quietly discussing plans for a Grand Kabuki tour of North America that he insists will be unlike any other. In the past, he points out, Kabuki-for-export has concentrated on one-act plays and excerpts. Now, however, a full-evening masterwork will be seen for the first time in 12 Canadian, Mexican and U.S.
June 22, 1990 |
What posh Costa Mesa sanctum costs $100,000 to join, has dues of $1,000 per year, and allows only cocktails, wrapped mints and salted nuts to be served to members? Five hundred Social I.Q. points if you know the answer: the 2,500-square-foot Center Room at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Here, arts lovers who've pledged a minimum of $100,000 (payable over a five-year period) gather before performances and during intermissions to sip libations out of gleaming German crystal.
September 18, 1993 |
Led by 78-year-old Living National Treasure Baiko Onoe VII, the Grand Kabuki celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Japan America Theatre on Thursday with an unusually short and intimate program of dances. All three pieces featured opulent costumes that the dancers peeled away to reveal, at the last, robes of brilliantly intense scarlet. Layers of poetic allusion also peeled away in each piece to reveal a molten core--sometimes pure emotion, sometimes bravura technique.