Updated: July 18, 2016
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4 Keys Of How Kabuki Evolves With Time

Japanese Kabuki is introducing "NEW" elements into their performances, pulling audiences in fresh ways of understanding the human nature.

Given that Kabuki has been named by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, one may mistakenly think Kabuki just presents traditional plays that date back to the Edo period.
However, Kabuki practitioners are introducing new elements into their performances, pulling audiences in fresh human nature stories/drama. Here are some examples of new-style Kabuki:

1. Introducing New Technologies

Some shows make use of high-tech technology that incorporates digital projection and 3D animation. For example, "Koi Tsukami (Fight With a Carp)" that was performed at The Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas in August 2015 integrated computer-programmed fountain choreography so as to enhance the storytelling effect.
Mian img www.kabuki-bito.jp

2. Introduction of ‘Super Kabuki’

Kabuki can be difficult to understand since they use classical Japanese.
Therefore Ennosuke Ichikawa III came up with the concept of ‘Super Kabuki’, in which traditional plays are delivered in contemporary Japanese like "One Piece Kabuki".
This helped young people feel a sense of familiarity with Kabuki.
Retina pixta 15878092 s

3. Adaptation of Shakespeare Plays

In a move to mix the best portion of Eastern and Western culture, many Shakespeare plays like Richard III, Macbeth and Coriolanus have been adapted into Kabuki plays. This broadens Kabuki’s appeal to foreign audiences.
Img03 01 l http://www.kabuki-bito.jp/

4. Integration of Japanese Art Forms

Ebizo Ichikawa XI, a descendant of Japan’s oldest Kabuki family, is an expert at this concept. His latest play, “Mimasu Kuruwa No Kasauri” brings exquisite Japanese-style umbrellas to the fore. He has been known to meld Rakugo (comic storytelling) and Noh (a classic form of Japanese musical drama) with Kabuki in the past.
Retina pixta 14277921 s
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