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Classical Theatre History A Journey Through Time The Asian Theatre
By Margaret Foland AET 541 Dawn R. Tittle
Introduction to Asian Theatre
This section will discuss the theatres and history of the following Nations: China Turkey Japan India
It will also bring the philosophy of these nations into context with the philosophy of the Western Nations
Asian History: China, Turkey, Japan, and India
Turkey Once belonged to the Roman Empire Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, splits the empire in two Capital is Constantinople, Turkey – the home of the Byzantine Empire Theatre came from the West The Byzantine Empire falls The Islamic Turks take control of the country Theatre is illegal due to the fact that it goes against Islam Please read more here http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108054.html China Several Dynasties rule the Chinese lands Dynasties end, the Imperial Chinese Monarchy begins Chinese Restoration Manchus rise in power Modern China takes hold early 19th century Revolution Erupts in 1911 China as a Republic Civil War – against Japan Japan wins Civil War – Mao enters People’s Republic of China – Communists Take over Please read more here http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/toc.html
Asian History Cont’d
Dates back to the beginning of Human civilization The Indus Valley Civilization Hinduism rises Islam comes to India in the 11 century Muslims rule the country under the Mughal Empire Sikhs – another religion different from Hindu Their culture produces better soldiers and once controlled all of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir India has a Caste System You marry within your caste, no below or above it Please read more here http://www.indhistory.com/ http://www.indhistory.com/
Settled by migrants from the Asian mainland Once ruled by the Shogun Samurai Code People once lived by fishing, hunting, and farming Religion Shinto Buddhist Later on Christianity Please read more here: http://web-japan.org/museum/historyofjp/histjp.html
What happened to make Constantine want to separate the Roman Empire in two, one East the other West? What caused the fall of the Byzantine Empire? When the Turks defeated the Byzantines, what happened to that country and to Constantinople? Why does theatre go against Islam How many dynasties did China have? Who were the most powerful emperors in Chinese History? Who was responsible for the Chinese Restoration? When did China become a Republic?> When did they become the a Communist Country? When did India’s History begin? How does it effect what you already now about History? What is a Caste System? How does the religion of India reflect the mixed cultures of the nation, from its past to its present? What was Tokyo called during the Edo Period? What is the Samurai code? Who ruled the nation before the Edo Period? What does their religious believe reflect the culture of the Nation, from its past to its present?
Asian Theatre –Turkey
Turkish Puppet Theatre - Shadow Puppets Karagoz, the Turkish Everyman, a star of coffee houses Always one step behind the bill collector, a street – smart working man Anti - beaurocracy and anti – pretence Where there’s a comic there’s a straight man Hacivat an educated pedantic type is charged with keeping Karagoz under control – somewhat Timeless banter Karagoz and Hacivat engage in the same kind of comic famous by the Marx Brothers and Abbot and Costello in their “Who’s on First” routine Predecessors Hacivat is the great –great – great – grandfather of Ralph Kramden and Homer Simpson But, sometimes, things go wrong For example, here’s Hacivat trying to escape – wearing Burcha (Burkha) Where there is a coffee shop, there’s a way to see a theatrical show To subvert Islamic law concerning representation of human form, puppets are performed while back lit, creating shadow figures As coffee shops – came and gone, these performances are not planned
Asian Theatre - India
India – Theatre/Dance Life, Religion and theatre are all connected- To dance all are one The Great Epics of India The Ramayana – the adventures of Prince Rama The Mahabharata – the book of sayings and wisdom, their Talmud/Quran 4 dances forms Bharata Natyam Kathakali Kathak Manipuri Based on the Vedas Rig – spoken word Sama - song Yajur – movement Atharva – emotion Theatre mostly took place in temples Backstage – AUP – Yavanika The roof of the acting area once performed outside held up by 4 poles, same color as the ribbons colors mean white – priests red – nobles yellow – basic citizens blue/black – thieves/day labors/ artists Most stages richly decorated with wood cravings and more Back stage costume changes and sound along with other effects
Asian Theatre – China
Chinese Theatre – Opera (Xipü) Total theatre, circus, gymnastics, and Opera all for the price of a pot of team Flags – coat of arms, 4 flags. commander of the army Theatre’s greatest practitioner – Li Yu – playwright, actor, critic, and producer Wrote greatest Chinese dramatic criticism Wrote plays for a board audience 40 wives and numerous concubines, traveled with female acting company Expert on furniture, travel, sexual arts, painting, music, poetry, architecture, diet and hygiene. The Bejing Opera (Jing Ju) – total theatre Song, dance, skits, acrobats, colorful costumes, movement, and vocal gymnastics 4 categories of roles: Sheng – star male (played by men/women) Dan – star female (played by both men/women) Jing – “painted face” (played by men/women) Chou – comic (played by men/women) Mei Langfang 1894-1961 The legendary Beijing Opera Performer, his style is one of the 4 greatest styles of Opera Performance Classical Actor Training Actors Had no official status Artistry second, craftsmanship first Discipline rigid/corporal punishment rule Day begins at 7 am for song, dance, and music 7 year course no withdrawals 5th year exam Beijing Opera
Japanese Theatre Forms
Noh – grace personified The first greatest period of Japanese theatre in the 14th century (Parallel’s China’s Golden Age) Combined scholarly and religious tenets with popular entertainment and allied with Zen Buddhism. Supported by powerful people in politics, business and art Kan’ami 1334-1384 and Zeami 1363-1443 Motokiko Lead a troupe of itinerant performers who performed for the Shogun Arranged for 11 year old Zeami’s court education Succeeded to troupes leadership: Zeami’s trouped attracted Shogun’s court-freeing him to devote himself to all aspects of theatre Zeami – father of Noh Yugen – tenets of Noh Yugen – philosopher and physician gracefulness Tenets of Noh Actors trained since childhood in acting, singing and dancing Remarkably sophisticated, move slow to fast and was based on literary and historical sources 4 roles 1. Shite – leading role 2. Waki – responder 3. Tsure – extra 4. Kyogen – comic Hashigakari – entrance ramp
Shingeki (western style theatre) Proscenium Arch Western Theatre including Shakespeare's Play Moliere’s plays Musicals Original works Plays and Musicals based on Japanese Animation
Japanese Theatre Forms Cont’d
Bunraku Living Dolls – Bunraku During Tokugawa period, when Japan was cut off from Europe and China Noh – state theatre Businessmen supported Bunraku Began as reciter and shamisen; puppets added in 1600 Joruri – chanted texts 3 puppeteers needed for each character – one for the legs, one for the left arm and the chief puppeteer for the right arm and head The chief handler is dressed elaborately the others were all in black and are invisible By 1730 puppets grew 2/3 size and Bunraku developed into an art form Greatest Bunraku writer is Chikamatsu Monzaemon 1653-1725 Wrote for Bunraku and kabuki theatre, it is considered the Japanese Shakespeare
Japanese Theatre Forms Cont’d
Kabuki – made for a woman Based on rigid codes of Confucian behavior, sacrifice, loyalty, revenge, class system, and samurai code In the 1700s, Kabuki combined Noh and Bunraku and folk theatre and it thrived It was found by Okuni of Izumo in 1603; 15 years there were 7 licensed theatres in Kyoto. They borrowed the Noh stage Women started it but were banned in 1629, boys than were used and than banned in 1652 Acting dynasties start with Ichikawa Danjuro 1660-1704, whose line stretches 12 generations to today’s Danjuro XII – who refined the traditional aragato “rough stuff” style of acting Hanamichi, a wide stage low proscenium, revolve, musicians on stage The stage helpers dressed in black and wear hoods, along with dressers to help with changes of costumes – mostly silk kimonos – that tie in the back Proscenium theatre – with Hashigakari, for modern day performances Actors all male to this day
Video clips of Asian Theatre
Japanese No, Kabuki, Shingeki and Banraku http://youtu.be/67-bgSFJiKc http://youtu.be/kTv8uM_jmmI http://youtu.be/kEUQNvn8EJQ http://youtu.be/5wLXAUaiojk http://youtu.be/RG2-iS1bDl0 Chinese Theatre http://youtu.be/MNfY2YEaEwc http://youtu.be/RugK1QfvVVI http://youtu.be/mN9iXlfxpxI India’s Dance Theatre http://youtu.be/IYDelWOWVvE http://youtu.be/9XtVvPlvRn0 http://youtu.be/SgiLOzFQh14 Shadow Puppet Theatre http://youtu.be/L4V19AVZZQ8 http://youtu.be/I-lOo0pRih4 http://youtu.be/xHOv_Q_KuW0
This is a picture from the Sailor Moon Musicals from 1996 staring Anza Oyama as Sailor Moon. This is an example of Shingeki - Shingeki
What is India’s Dance Theatre about? How does the Hindu Religion play a part in India’s Dance Theatre? What do the color’s that India has in their theatre stand for? Where is Turkey’s Shadow Puppet Theatre preformed? Why do they have shadow puppet theatre instead of a western style theatre? In Turkey, shadow puppeteers are trained by who? What are the three kinds of entertainment in China? Where can you go to watch a show in China, and is theatre illegal in the country? Who is Li Yu and why is he important to Chinese Theatre? What is Noh theatre and which religion backs it? What is Banraku and how big are the living dolls? What is the difference between Noh and Kabuki theatre? Do they have a western style theatre in Japan, and if so what it called and why?
Asian Art Mall. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.asianartmall.com/kabukiarticle.htm Dance II B. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.iaac.us/IAAC_dance_fest2010-II/images/dance-II-b.jpg Karagoz5340. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/AssetsTurkey/ThraceMarmara/k aragoz5340.jpg Kunqu. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://wwwpersonal.umich.edu/~zzhu/kunqu.JPG Noh Theatre. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://doriboo09.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/noh.jpg SeraMyu Antics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://seramyuantics.net/ Wilson, E., & Goldfarb, A. (2008). History of the Theatre: Living Theatre (5th ed.). New York, New York: McGraw Hill.