Asian Studies

A visit from the Noh Masters

What is Noh?

Noh, derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent", is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Developed by Kan'ami and his son Zeami, it is the oldest major theatre art that is still regularly performed today.

Japanese Noh Drama: Understanding mugennō

This event is for students, academics and all who are interested in the traditional theatre and culture of Japan. It complements the UK tour by "Passion and Stillness," featuring masters of noh drama Takeda Munenori, Takeda Fumiyuki, Takeda Yoshiteru and Kunugi Nozomu.

The evening offers an introduction to mugennō, one of the unique styles of playwriting that actor, playwright and theorist Zeami devised for noh in the fourteenth century. It will consist of a brief lecture by Dr Helen Parker and an illustrative digest performance by noh master Munenori Takeda, followed by a chance for audience members to participate.

Munenori Takeda was born in 1978 into the Takeda family which has been in the Nohgaku profession since the Edo period(17-19c). He is widely regarded as one of the most engaging and charismatic performers of his generation. In 1980, at the age of two, Munenori made his Nohgaku debut and in 1988 he played his first leading role (shite). In a single year, he may appear in as many as a hundred domestic performances. In his dual role of instructor and performer, Munenori has also taken his art overseas, performing in such countries as China, Russia, Italy, the USA and Canada. Munenori has also held between 50 and 60 instructional workshops. These insightful and revealing events have proved popular with audiences as diverse as working professionals, school students and foreign nationals.

This event takes place 11 November 2019, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, in Room G.03, 50 George Square. 

Take me to Evenbrite to book my ticket. 

International Perspectives on Noh Drama: Roundtable Discussion

In conversation: noh masters Munenori Takeda and Fumiyuki Takeda, scholar-playwright Ashley Thorpe, composer Gemma McGregor

About the panel

Munenori Takeda was born in 1978 into the Takeda family which has been in the Nohgaku profession since the Edo period(17-19c). He is widely regarded as one of the most engaging and charismatic performers of his generation. In 1980, at the age of two, Munenori made his Nohgaku debut and in 1988 he played his first leading role (shite). In a single year, he may appear in as many as a hundred domestic performances. In his dual role of instructor and performer, Munenori has also taken his art overseas, performing in such countries as China, Russia, Italy, the USA and Canada. Munenori has also held between 50 and 60 instructional workshops. These insightful and revealing events have proved popular with audiences as diverse as working professionals, school students and foreign nationals.

Fumiyuki Takeda debuted on the Noh stage at the age of three, and sought teaching from his father, the 26th Grand Master of Kanze School of Nohgaku and Shiro Nomura, a Living National Treasure. As host for his own Podcast “Fumiyuki dissecting Nohgaku,” he steps up efforts to broaden understanding of Nohgaku amongst the younger generation and business people (as the majority of Nohgaku’s present passionate supporters are from senior retired, cultured circles). Along the same lines, he also organises “Business success tips from Nohgaku” workshops especially targeted at business executives. Fumiyuki has performed on stage and delivered workshops in Peking, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Milan, Seattle, Vancouver.

Ashley Thorpe is a Senior Lecturer in Theatre, and Director of the Centre for Asian Theatre & Dance, in the Department of Drama, Theatre & Dance at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is also the Director of Noh Training Project UK, an intensive noh training course which runs annually, and a member of the international theatre company Theatre Nohgaku. He has published two solo-authored books, two edited books, and has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals including The Drama Review, Theatre Research International, Asian Theatre Journal, and Contemporary Theatre Review.

Gemma McGregor is a composer from Orkney who is interested in depicting consciousness and exploring images of time and place in layers of sound. In addition to writing contemporary choral and instrumental music, she has been part of many interdisciplinary performances and collaborations and has created sound-art and written music for film.. She has studied traditional shakuhachi for three years and performs regularly on flute and shakuhachi. She has a doctorate in composition from the University of Aberdeen and many of her works are influenced by Japanese traditional music.

This event takes place 11 November 2019, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, in Room 1.20, Dugald Stewart Building.

Take me to Evenbrite to book my ticket. 

A visit from the Noh Masters

This event is for students, academics and all who are interested in the traditional theatre and culture of Japan.

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