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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Preview of Sanbaso, Kyogen Performance

Hi, today is very exciting day for me because I got an invitation to see the Sanbaso which will be performed today at the Guggenheim Museum. 
It will be the first time for me to see a live performance of Mr. Mansai Nomura. 

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Stamping Sanbasō 狂言三番叟(さんばそう)

There's one more important role for kyōgen actors that hasn't been mentioned yet: Sanbasō, which is part of the ceremonial piece OkinaOkina, which is often called "the noh that isn't a noh," celebrates the emperor's peaceful reign, the safety of the nation, and a bountiful harvest. As such it holds a venerated position within the noh world as a petition to the gods. The kyōgen actor carries a box containing the masks used in the performance, and dances the dance Sanbasō, which is a prayer for blessing. (Depending on the shite school involved, the kyōgen actor may also play the role of a young man named Chitose [Thousand Years].)
Sanbasō is the main role in the second half of Okina, after the old man Okina exits. The actor begins by dancing the momi no dan (rubbing section), after which he dons a black, old man's mask and dances the suzu-no-dan (bell tree section). The choreography involves a great deal of stamping, and there are also mimed movements that portray the sowing of fields. The actors are thought to become gods as they perform their dances of supplication. Kyōgen performers use the verb "stamp," not "dance," to describe what they do when they perform Sanbasō.
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