Asian drama begins here sanskrit dance theatre around

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Asian drama begins here Sanskrit dance-theatre around 200b.c.e. Plays survive from about 100c.e. Natyasastra treatise on theatre ascribed to Bharata Muni Dates somewhere between 200b.c.e and 200c.e.
Natyasastra treatise on theatre The most comprehensive study of theatre surviving from the ancient world, contains detailed analyses of Sanskrit: Dramatic texts Theatre buildings Acting Staging Music Gesture Dance Theatre company organization (Cohen, p. 213)
Indian Kathakali Dance drama form meaning story play Originated in the rural villages of Kerala in the seventeenth century Based on thousands of stories from two great Indian epics Ramayana Mahabharata
Indian Kathakali Performances last from about ten at night until well beyond dawn the next day p. 214 Audience can eat, leave, take naps Today, normally lasts three hours
Indian Kathakali Text is sung by two singers Percussion accompaniment of gongs, drums, cymbals Actors dance and pantomime the dramatic action with Elaborate and precise hand gestures, foot patterns, eye and eyebrow movements and postural contortions
Indian Kathakali Actors train rigorously from early childhood, receiving mastery—if at all— only by about age forty
Indian Kathakali Highly stylized makeup and costuming convey character and attitude Red or black bearded characters represent evil White bearded, divine No scenery is used Plays presented at arbitrary sites Four simple poles define the acting area
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Japanese No (Noh) Japan s most revered and cerebral theatre Oldest continuously performed drama in the world Perfected in 14 th and 15 th centuries by father/son team Kan ami and Zeami Between them wrote and produced approx. 240 of the surviving plays
Japanese Noh Highly ceremonial Mysterious and tragic Almost always portrays supernatural events and characters Centers around single character: shite (the doer) Who is interrogated, prompted, and challenged by secondary character: waki
Japanese Noh Waki: ministers, commoners, priests Shite: gods, ghosts, women, animals, warriers Shite are masked, waki are not
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Japanese Noh Stage Precisely measured square 18 ft across Highly polished Japanese cypress flooring Supported from below by large earthenware jars that resonate with the actors foot-stompings Bridgelike runway (hashigakari) provides access from stage right Painted pine tree provides only scenery
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