Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Healing in Noh @ Nagomi Tea House

On March 24 Soju Kai presented a lecture/demonstration at the Nagomi Teahouse in Seattle’s International District. I recently began writing a monthly column for the Hokubei Houchi (North American Post) newspaper entitled ‘Tales from the Noh’. During our first meeting there, we were pleasantly surprised to discover the Nagomi Teahouse downstairs, a beautiful and intimate space.

We chose as our theme for the presentation ‘Healing in Noh’, and focused on specifically on healing through sympathy as expressed in the Noh play ‘Atsumori’. Kumiko opened the performance with a celebratory chant from the play ‘Tsurukame’. I then spoke on the music, movement and chant of Noh, as well as its history and esthetics. Kumiko demonstrated jo-ha-kyu, then danced a section of the play ‘Yuya’.

The presentation also featured backstage photos of Kumiko’s father Yoshio Negishi, a licensed Noh performer. Masks carved by Kumiko’s mother, Yukie Negishi, a Noh performer and accomplished Noh mask carver, were modeled by stage performer/dancer Yuuki Hoashi.

The performance continued with a staged reading of my retelling of the play ‘Atsumori’, as published in the Summer 2012 issue of the journal Parabola. Kumiko’s sumi paintings of scenes from the play were also featured.

The performance ended with a video clip from a live performance of ‘Atsumori’, danced by Hideo Fukuhara, Kumiko’s uncle.

Photography courtesy of Heather Jackson.

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