A traditional theatrical form intended to be epic, with spectacular stories, sets, make-up and costumes, the invention of kabuki is attributed to a priestess, Okuni, in the early 17th century. This street art quickly moved to theatres and has survived to the present day, remaining very popular in Japan. In 2020, when live theatre performances were cancelled due to the COVID-19, a young kabuki actor, Kazutaro Nakamura, assembled a unique team of artists consisting of classical dancers, traditional musicians, and kabuki actors to propose ART KABUKI, a sumptuous filmed performance enhanced by the latest technological advances in the stage arts. The staging of this show would based on three themes: play, beauty, and life. This message of hope would not only be for the Japanese people, but a source of comfort for people around the world.
With this breathtakingly beautiful show that offers a modern take on kabuki, Nakamura has won his bet with flying colours! While the graceful choreography and almost hypnotic precision of the gestures sometimes follow a subtle sung narrative, it is when they merge with the music that the epic aspect of kabuki becomes apparent. Varying in intensity, but always harmonious, ART KABUKI’s melodies give the effect of a rock concert in a Zen garden as they fill us with a gentle energy in the frenzied crescendos. With its make-up, its magnificent costumes and its grandiose sets, ART KABUKI is the ideal gateway to this majestic ancestral art that is too little known in our country. – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
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