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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bando Tamasaburo joins Kumi Odori performance

Today, I am so happy to read news regarding an Okinawan Kumi Odori (Udui) performance, in which Kabuki Onna gata performer Bando Tamasaburo will act as the main character of a new program called "Chifijin Tanjo" jointly produced by the Okinawan National Theater and Tokyo National Theater. The program will be performed in both theaters next March. The dance is arranged by Master Noho Miyagi: the National Treasure

This news is an indication of innovation, at least to me. The top Kabuki Onnagata Tamasaburo will perform Kumi Udui for the first time ever, while other genre actors like traditional Noh and Kabuki performers have never tried to utilize other genres before in traditional dance scenes.

I am particularly fond of Tamasaburo, since he has not only achieved the highest level of Onnagata of Kabuki, but also has mastered other dance genres, including Chinese classical dance called 'Kongeki," which has been performed by Chinese actors in China.

Kumi Udui was created during the 18th century by Chokun Tamagusuku (1684-1734). He was the first Odori Bugyo (appointed as a court dancer by the Ryukyu Kingdom) and performed  Kumi Udui first in 1719.

Kumi Udui is a type of performance that combines classical Ryukyu dances, singing (dialogues mostly consisting of 30 syllables in four lines of eight, eight, eight and six), with live music.

Chokun has created seven kumi udui numbers during his time:
Shushin Kaneiri, Nido Tikiuchi, Mekarushi-, Onna Munugurui, Koko No Maki, Timiji Nu En, and Hana Uri Nu En. In recent years, there have been many new Kumi Udui numbers written and performed at both Okinawa and Tokyo's national theaters.


The following is the article of the Okinawa Times

坂東玉郎さん 新作組主

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2012年10月13日 10時42分

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