Yokohama Noh Theater presents Noh/Kyogen in unconventional ways.
In the 2009 special themed presentation of "Buke no Kyogen, Machisyu no Kyogen" (Kyogen for the Warrior Class, Kyogen for the Townspeople), we presented two schools of Kyogen - Yamamoto School of Tokyo and Shigeyama School of Kyoto. Although they both belong to the Okura lineage, they are known for having very different styles. The presentation compared them in a unique way.
In "Sotoba Komatch as Hideyoshi Saw it(2002)", we re-produced a Noh play as it was performed 400 years ago. In 2004 presentation "Waki and Shite" (Supporting role and Leading role), we casted a spotlight on the role of supporting role actors waki, and examined it in the series of six performances. In "Noh Costume that Crossed the Ocean(2009)", we brought back and restored a Noh costume that was taken overseas 150 years ago. Furthermore we re-created the costume to use it in a Noh production. Yokohama Noh Theater’s productions have always draw large attention.
Yokohama Noh Theater has taken on international cultural exchange programs and collaborative productions utilizing traditional performing arts as a core medium.
In "Japan-Korea Traditional Arts Festival", leading artists from both counties performed. The festival took place in both countries, and continued for three years from 2000. In 2005, we did a collaborative production with traditional dancers from Japan, Korea, Bali and Thailand. We continue to strength our relation with Asian traditional performing artists.
From 2009, we initiated a program to work with contemporary Indigenous performing artists from Japan and Canada. As a co-production with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (Canada), we collaboratively produced a new dance work with Japanese Indigenous musician, OKI (Ainu) and Canadian Indigenous choreographer, Santee Smith (Mohawk).
Yokohama Noh Theater is dedicated to reach out to wide audience to share the understanding of the essence of Noh/Kyogen.
"Every Second Sunday is now THE DAY of KYOGEN! " is what we had decided on our own. Every second Sunday of a month, we present "Yokohama Kyogendo" - two Kyogen performances accompanied by an artist talk about the plays. Ticket price is ¥2000 and is easy to access for new audience.
We also conduct workshops and classes of Noh/Kyogen. During the summer holidays, we call for participants for a Kyogen workshop. The workshop is designed for school children and conducted for three days. This program started in 1996 when the theater opened and has been continuing since. We also present "Barrier-free Noh" every year. This is to create an environment so those with various disabilities can enjoy the Noh/Kyogen performance together.
In order for traditional arts to survive, the effort to re-create tradition is crucial on top of the effort to succeed it.
In "Yokohama Akari (Lights) - Arts Collaboration" which we produced for four years from 2006, we ventured out of our theater and created a new space in the city of Yokohama. The world-renowned lighting designer ISHII Motoko designed the lighting for traditional performing arts that was presented in the city. It was a new realm of art. Traditional performing arts varied from Shomyo and traditional dances of Japan, China and Korea.
In 2011, we produced "The Tale of Jorurihime - modern interpretation". We gave a new life to "The Tale of Jorurihime", which is the forerunner of Joruri. Two main collaborative artists were Biwa player UEHARA Mari and Bunraku puppeteers KRITAKE Kanjuro.