Thursday, October 17, 2013

From the Ashes

Executive summary by darmansjah

THE MARQUEE LOGO of Tokyo’s Kabuki-za Theater- a phoenix taking flight amid swirling flames-is a fifth building since 1898, in April. Like the dynamic plays and dances it presents, the Ginza District venue is no stranger to drama. Over the years, the Kabuki-za has been consumed by fire, earthquakes, and war; its rebirth sets the stage for epic programs of song and dance, colorful kimonos, traditional kumadori, and the art of onnagata: male actors playing the female parts. 

Kengo Kuma, lead architect on the project, incorporated details and artifacts from the previous buildings into a new structure designed t owithstand tremors. “with Kabuki, the sense of the theater being crowded with people is important, so the seating will still be a little cramped,” Kuma told the Japan Times. Such intimacy is an essential element of Kabuki’s “land of poetic vision,” as Shutaro Miyake wrote in Kabuki Drama. “One might as well climb a tree in quest of fish as to expect logic and rationality in a Kabuki play.” After its dramatic pause, Tokyo’s Kabuki-za is once again ready, as its phoenix portends, for liftoff.

1 comment: