Nakamura Kanzabur˘ celebrates his shűmei in Ky˘to,
playing the roles of Tadanobu and the shiraby˘shi Hanako
in the drama "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura" and the dance "Musume D˘j˘ji".
Saruwaka Edo no Hatsuyagura: in the Edo period, each of the licensed Kabuki theaters
had their own ceremonial play and this is the play for the Nakamuraza Theater.
This performance commemorates the name taking of the new Nakamura Kanzabur˘ since that was the
name given to the head of the Nakamuraza Theater.
Saruwaka is the name of a light entertainer who did songs and dances in the earliest
days of Kabuki. Starring Nakamura Kanzabur˘ĺs sons Nakamura Kantar˘ as Saruwaka and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Izumo-no-Okuni,
the woman who began Kabuki.
Soga no Taimen: this is one of the oldest and most classical of all
Kabuki plays. In the Edo period, every January, plays appeared about the vendetta
carried out by the Soga brothers Jűr˘ and Gor˘ after eighteen years of hardship.
In "Soga no Taimen" the brothers confront Kud˘ Suketsune, the man responsible for
their father's death. More ceremony than play, it features each of the important
Kabuki character types, including the bombastic aragoto
style of Gor˘ and the soft wagoto style
of Jűr˘. This month features a cast headed by Kataoka Gat˘ as Kud˘
and some of the most popular young stars in Kabuki with Nakamura Hashinosuke as Gor˘ and
Nakamura Kanjaku as Jűr˘.
Michiyuki Hatsune no Tabi: a dance travel scene from the epic "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura".
Now in exile and disgrace, Yoshitsune has left his lover Shizuka in the safekeeping of his trusted retainer Tadanobu.
But she is unaware that this Tadanobu is actually a magical fox who has
disguised himself to be near the treasured drum that Shizuka carries,
a drum made from the skins of his fox parents.
Starring Nakamura Kanzabur˘ as Tadanobu, with Sakata T˘jűr˘ as Shizuka.
Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata: the epic "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees" ("Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura")
features many characters around the famous general Yoshitsune, but none more
memorable than a magic fox that takes the guise of Tadanobu, one of Yoshitsune's
most trusted retainers. The fox wants to get close to a precious drum that Yoshitsune has made from the skins of his fox parents. In this excerpt
from the longer play, the fox reveals his true identity with a series
of spectacular stage tricks and Yoshitsune is moved to grant him the drum.
Starring Nakamura Kanzabur˘ as the fox Tadanobu.
Also featuring Nakamura Kantar˘ and Kataoka Nizaemon as Shizuka Gozen and Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
Ukine no Tomodori: the two young lovers Osome and Hisamatsu plan
to commit lover's suicide because they cannot marry. As they approach the
Sumida River, they meet a female monkey trainer who guesses their intentions
and tries to convince them not to kill themselves. This dance is usually performed
with a male monkey trainer, but this special version features an onnagata
female role specialist. Starring Nakamura Shikan as the monkey trainer with Nakamura Hashinosuke
as Hisamatsu and Nakamura Shichinosuke as Osome.
Shunkan: the priest Shunkan (Kataoka Nizaemon) has been exiled to Devil's Island for
plotting against the dictator Kiyomori. A pardon is given to his fellow conspirators, but
Shunkan is only saved by an additional pardon given by Kiyomori's compassionate son. Even so,
he gives up his place on the boat to freedom so his companion's new wife can accompany
her husband back to the capital. The boat leaves and Shunkan is left watching is disappear
in the distance, knowing he will be left on the island forever.
Featuring Ichikawa Danshir˘ as the evil emissary Senoo and Kataoka Gat˘ as
the merciful envoy Tanzaemon. With Kataoka Takatar˘ as the island girl Chidori and Kataoka Hidetar˘ as Naritsune,
Shunkan's fellow exile who has fallen in love with her.
K˘j˘: the close relationship between the actors and the audience is
marked by stage announcements on important occasions. Sometimes the ceremony is in
memory of a famous actor of the past and sometimes the ceremony marks the taking of
a new name by an actor. This month, the top actors of the company offer their
congratulations to the new Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVIII. They recall Nakamura Kanzabur˘ XVII
and add their memories of working with the new Kanzabur˘ under his old name of Kankur˘.
Finally, the members of the company ask the audience for their guidance and support
for the new Kanzabur˘ in the future.
Musume D˘j˘ji: a beautiful young woman dances under cherry blossoms
at a dedication ceremony for a temple bell. She dances the many aspects of a
woman in love, but is actually the spirit of a serpent, driven to destroy the
bell out of jealousy. In addition to being the most famous of all Kabuki dances,
"Musume D˘j˘ji" is considered to be the pinnacle of the art of the onnagata.
The role of the shiraby˘shi
is played by Nakamura Kanzabur˘. This performance includes the bombastic oshimodoshi finale,
with Kataoka Gat˘ in the role of the demon-queller.
Kari no Tayori: ???
Noriaibune: at the new year a group of merrymakers happen to meet on a
ferry boat. They include a pair of manzai entertainers, who would go from door to door performing auspicious songs and dances.
Featuring Nakamura Kanjaku, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Kataoka Takatar˘, Kataoka Ainosuke and Nakamura Senjaku.
Source: Earphone Guide website