Sunday, September 6, 2015

Noh Workshop “Tsuchigumo” (at Waterasu in Tokyo)

On , Soju Projekt took part in a Noh workshop by Noh performer Yoshiteru Takeda. The workshop, at Waterasu in Ochanomizu, focused on the demon-Noh play ‘Tsuchigumo’ (‘The Earth Spider’).
‘Tsuchigumo’ is often performed for audiences new to Noh because of its easy-to-understand story and its dynamic nature. The basic premise of samurai warrior versus spider-monster has dramatic appeal, and its overall feel –an eerie first half, a spectacular second half – is entertaining. Because of its special effects – spider webbing cast a la Spiderman from the hands of the monster – the play resembles Kabuki as much as Noh.
It was easy to get caught up in the excitement. The audience was clearly relieved when the loathsome thing was destroyed.
A highlight of the workshop was, not surprisingly, learning the secret behind the webbing, including how it’s made and the proper way to fling it. There is a trick to it, but it also takes a lot of practice. Every participant was given several chances to fling their webbing. The technique is not easy to master, though, and some of us showed more spider-demon potential than others.   

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