Come You Spirits : An Alternative Afterlife to Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' and 'Othello' as mediated through Japanese Classical Noh and Kyogen Theatre

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

This study will explore the potential of nō theatre as a form in which adaptations, or more accurately transcultural transformations and appropriations, of Shakespearean drama can flourish in a Japanese cultural context. With reference to specific performance examples we will argue that transculturation of Shakespearean drama through the vehicle of the transcendently metaphysical and ritualized nō in combination with the more dramatically mimetic, if similarly stylized, kyōgen can offer fresh perception of theatrical possibility for both western and Japanese audiences. The practice invites both audience constituencies to share in alternative ways of seeing and feeling about the iconic and sometimes culturally conservative constructs of Shakespeare and nō, respectively. Bearing in mind the phenomenon of cultural mobility and transmission, as proposed by Stephen Greenblatt and others, we will discuss three principal case studies, Izumi Noriko's 2006 nō Macbeth and 2013 nō Othello productions and Nomura Mansai's 2010 Tokyo mixed-mode production and subsequent touring version of Macbeth. They serve as very good illustrations of how, in spite of the apparent aesthetic restraints arising out of the formality of its theatricality and codification, nō and kyōgen theatre can afford new insights into Shakespeare as a contemporary global theatre practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-132
Number of pages21
JournalAsian Theatre Journal
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2018

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William Shakespeare
Afterlife
Othello
Drama
Constituency
Iconic
Restraint
Formality
Appropriation
Theatricality
Stylised
Transculturation
Aesthetics
Transcultural
Codification
Cultural Context
Touring
Tokyo
Metaphysical

Cite this

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title = "Come You Spirits : An Alternative Afterlife to Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' and 'Othello' as mediated through Japanese Classical Noh and Kyogen Theatre",
abstract = "This study will explore the potential of nō theatre as a form in which adaptations, or more accurately transcultural transformations and appropriations, of Shakespearean drama can flourish in a Japanese cultural context. With reference to specific performance examples we will argue that transculturation of Shakespearean drama through the vehicle of the transcendently metaphysical and ritualized nō in combination with the more dramatically mimetic, if similarly stylized, kyōgen can offer fresh perception of theatrical possibility for both western and Japanese audiences. The practice invites both audience constituencies to share in alternative ways of seeing and feeling about the iconic and sometimes culturally conservative constructs of Shakespeare and nō, respectively. Bearing in mind the phenomenon of cultural mobility and transmission, as proposed by Stephen Greenblatt and others, we will discuss three principal case studies, Izumi Noriko's 2006 nō Macbeth and 2013 nō Othello productions and Nomura Mansai's 2010 Tokyo mixed-mode production and subsequent touring version of Macbeth. They serve as very good illustrations of how, in spite of the apparent aesthetic restraints arising out of the formality of its theatricality and codification, nō and kyōgen theatre can afford new insights into Shakespeare as a contemporary global theatre practice.",
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Come You Spirits : An Alternative Afterlife to Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' and 'Othello' as mediated through Japanese Classical Noh and Kyogen Theatre. / INGHAM, Michael Anthony; NAKAO, Kaoru.

In: Asian Theatre Journal, Vol. 35, No. 1, 05.04.2018, p. 112-132.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

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