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The Fascination with Kyogen by Noriyoshi Ohkura and Daijiro Zenchiku in NewYork
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October 21, 2016
The Japan News
by The Yomiuri Shimbun
September 29, 2016
By Hiroko Ihara / Japan News Staff Writer
What would you do if you were unhappy about something but couldn’t find a solution?
Suppose you were a bonsai enthusiast, but your friend, who owns many bonsai trees, wouldn’t give you even one. How would you cope with the frustration? Would you just give up? You may find entertaining solutions in kyogen — classical Japanese comedy theater.
The dilemma of the frustrated bonsai enthusiast is fantastically depicted in “Bonsan,” a popular piece from the kyogen repertoire. Characters in kyogen theater worry, cry and laugh at almost the same things as individuals in contemporary society.
“Kyogen performances are short comedy skits, if we are to define them in modern terms, and they have been performed for hundreds of years,” said kyogen actor Okura Noriyoshi. “Kyogen comically depicts characters who are consumed with jealousy, greed, and other human weaknesses and warmly embraces these flawed individuals. It’s full of affection for humankind.”
Okura and his colleague Zenchiku Daijiro will host an event titled “The Heart of Kyogen: Lecture, Demonstration, Performance,” in New York on Oct. 21-22 to promote the universal appeal of the traditional performance art form. English interpretation will also be provided. more...