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Asian Theatre

  • 1375

    Origin of Theatre in Japan

    Origin of Theatre in Japan
    When the Ashikaga family gained shogunate power, they had a goal to "eliminate foreign cultural influences and develop native art forms" (Brockett, et al. 303). This led to the development of Noh theatre in Japan around the year 1375. The five types of Noh were based on the play's principal character. They include God, Warriors, Women, Madness, and Demons.
  • 1400

    The Shrine in the Fields (Nonomiya)

    The Shrine in the Fields (Nonomiya)
    The Shrine in the Fields, attributed to Zeami, is an example of the principle that Noh enforces preserving the traditional origins of the culture specific to its theatre (Brockett, et al. 307). Zeami was a renowned playwright and actor, discovering his talent at a young age. He produced many famous Noh works. Using dance to express the climax and changing emotions, this play serves more to present a mood than tell a specific story. Dance is the basis of many forms of Asian Theatre.
  • Bunraku is developed.

    Bunraku is developed.
    Another Japanese theatre form that was developed in the 1600s, Bunraku, uses "puppets [to] represent the characters" (Brockett, et al. 308).The style of puppets used evolved over the years, gaining more movable parts and changing in size and design. It takes multiple people to control each puppet in order to adapt to the complexity of the performance.
  • Kabuki is developed.

    Kabuki is developed.
    Also formed in the seventeenth century, Kabuki is arguably the most popular of the traditional forms of Japanese theatre (Brockett, et al. 309). It takes characteristics from both Noh and Bunraku and uses them to provide what it needs to present its major scenes and fictional storylines.
  • Shinpa is developed

    Shinpa is developed
    Shinpa is a form of Japanese theatre that provides a foundation for many different types of Chinese and Korean theatre. "Shinpa started in Japan in the 1880s as a modern reaction to kabuki and reached the height of its popularity in the first decade of the 20th century, when the Spring Willow Society was formed in Tokyo" (Liu 36). It can be referred to as "new school drama" (Liu 36), because is was formed after the traditional types of Japanese theatre.
  • Changguk becomes popular.

    Changguk becomes popular.
    Changguk was a popular form of Korean musical theatre that provided a basis for women in the modern theatre. "Changguk was developed by blending the traditional pansori narrative singing of Korea" with Japanese plays which took roots from Western melodramas (Madhavan 349). This form is significant because it shows the progression of theatre in Korea, which does not usually get as much attention in history as Japanese or Chinese theatre. Including this displays a wider variety of Asian countries.
  • Huaju (spoken drama) is developed.

    Huaju (spoken drama) is developed.
    Huaju is a form of Chinese theatre that was one of the first that allowed women to perform in this culture. This form is different from traditional Chinese theatre, because it uses "gender-appropriate casting rather than female impersonation" (Liu 35), a relatively new idea for that time.
  • Takarazuka is established.

    Takarazuka is established.
    Takarazuka is Japan's most popular theatre, and one of the first to allow women to fully enjoy and participate in the productions (Madhavan 349). All parts in this theatre are played by women, which was a big step in the advancement of this culture.
  • Indian choreography modernizes.

    Indian choreography modernizes.
    Choreography is an important part of modernizing theatre, especially in Asian cultures."Chandralekha’s and Daksha Sheth’s innovations in Indian dance brought about the genesis of women-authored trajectories in contemporary choreography, diffusing the stylistic barriers between various dances through their innovative performance practices" (Madhavan 350). This new dance style was initially rejected by traditionalists, but eventually became an important foundation for modern Indian choreography.
  • Yukio Ninagawa brings Noh plays to Lincoln Center.

    Yukio Ninagawa brings Noh plays to Lincoln Center.
    Yukio Ninagawa is an internationally famous Japanese director, who has presented many Western and Japanese plays in England and many other places, bringing the culture to new audiences worldwide (Brockett, et al. 313).