This is the first in a series of films I will be publishing about the role of dance in Asia’s cultures, which often is of central importance to their cultures.
The first film is a very interesting film about the Japanese art of Kabuki, a theatrical form that is now four centuries old, and has been traditionally passed down in families of Kabuki actors.
Kabuki is a highly stylised form of theatre in which every movement is carefully choreographed according to traditional characterisations. All the actors are male, including those who play female roles on stage.
The film basically follows two stories, one of the professional actors in Tokyo, who are well supported and recognised throughout the country and who command huge respect for their work. We see three generations of one family and how they are passing on this art form to the newer generations.
On the other hand we see the underfunded amateur, but still very important work on the so-called village Kabuki, who perform, not for money, but for the gods. They still preserve traditions that professionals from the cities are interested enough to come and see.
These two stories are very well interwoven here and we learn a lot about the history of the art form, the difficulties it is presently facing, and the achievements of its performers in this 50-minute long film by Jerome Raynaud.
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