Cinema Kabuki 2012; Tamasaburo Bando Poster Exhibition

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Cinema Kabuki 2012; Tamasaburo Bando Poster Exhibition

Post  JF on Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:38 am

-Cinema Kabuki advance tickets on sale
-Saturday opening of Library and Exhibition at The Japan Foundation , Toronto on February 4th,
-New exhibition now open! Posters of Kabuki star Tamasaburo Bando.

Cinema Kabuki in Toronto (Feb. 22-23) and Vancouver (Feb. 26)
presented by The Japan Foundation

in High Definition on the Big Screen
Direct from Japan
Subtitled in English
including three Canadian premieres, The Zen Substitute, Murder in a Hell of Oil, and Hokaibo

Kabuki Theatre, with origins dating back to the 1600s, has remained steeped in tradition while constantly innovating. Live productions, featuring some of today’s greatest Kabuki stars, are now being filmed with the highest resolution cameras for screening in cinemas around the world on state-of-the-art digital projection systems and 6 channel sound.

Cinema Kabuki
Calendar of screenings

TORONTO: Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
259 Richmond Street West
February 22 (Wednesday), 2012

6:00 pm The Zen Substitute
8:00 pm Murder in Hell of Oil

February 23 (Thursday), 2012
6:00 pm Heron Maiden
7:00 pm Hokaibo

VANCOUVER: Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
88 West Pender Street
February 26 (Sunday), 2012

1:00 pm Murder in a Hell of Oil
3:30 pm Heron Maiden

Tickets on sale online at and in person at theatre box offices.
$15 + tax: Heron Maiden
$20 + tax: Murder in a Hell of Oil, The Zen Substitute, Hokaibo

For more information:
416.966.1600 ex.229 Toronto
604.607.5978 Vancouver

Back by Popular Demand
Heron Maiden
(a dance performance)
Sagi Musume
Premiered in 1762
Directed for Cinema Kabuki by Hiroyuki Nakatani
Recorded live at the Kabuki-za Theatre, Tokyo , 2005
32 minutes
Subtitled in English

The Heron Maiden is one of the most challenging dance roles in Kabuki. Featuring fifteen musicians on stage and dramatic costume changes amid swirling snow, the popular Heron Maiden is performed by star onnagata Tamasaburo (a male actor who specializes in female roles). Transforming himself gracefully from a white heron to a coquettish girl, then into a woman who is brutally agonized by her lover's betrayal, the Heron Maiden is Tamasaburo’s signature piece. With his extraordinarily expressive hands - from the opening birdlike steps through to the dance’s finale - Tamasaburo is unforgettable.

Murder in a Hell of Oil (a murder story)
Onna Goroshi Aburano Jigoku
Premiered as a Bunraku puppet play in 1721
Written by Monzaemon Chikamatsu
Premiered as a Kabuki play in 1909
Directed for Cinema Kabuki by Hiroyuki Nakatani
Recorded live at Kabuki-za Theatre, Tokyo , 2009
110 minutes
Subtitled in English

Set in Osaka, the centre of commerce in 18th century Japan, Yohei, played by Nizaemon, a specialist of Kyoto/Osaka style Kabuki, is the prodigal son of an oil merchant who consumes the family fortune pursuing ‘pleasures of the night’. In spite of the heartfelt concern of his mother and stepfather, Yohei will not give up. Finally cornered by loan sharks, Yohei begs Okichi, the wife of a fellow oil merchant, for money. Upon her refusal, Yohei turns into a cruel murderer. Blood and oil gush in Kabuki’s most spectacular murder scene.

The Zen Substitute (a dance comedy)
Migawari Zazen
Premiered in 1910
Written by Shiko Okamura
Directed for Cinema Kabuki by Kiyoshi Sekine
Recorded live at Kabuki-za Theatre, Tokyo , 2009
62 minutes
Subtitled in English

Lord Ukyo announces to his wife that he intends to isolate himself in Zen meditation by locking himself in a remote pavilion overnight. The truth, however, is that he is planning to sneak out to see a woman he had met on a recent trip. As a decoy, a hapless servant is forced to stay in the prayer pavilion in place of the lord. Although the lord’s wife is supposed to refrain from visiting her husband out of respect for his religious isolation, she is so monstrously affectionate that she breaks her vow and goes looking for him. This simple domestic farce is elevated to an expression of the joyful energy of life by two of the best dancers of the Kabuki world, Kanzaburo and Mitsugoro.

Hokaibo (a ghostly black comedy)
Premiered in 1784
Written by Shimesuke Nagawa
Directed by Kazuyoshi Kushida
Directed for Cinema Kabuki by Hiroyuki Nakatani
Recorded live at Heisei Nakamura-za Theatre, Asakusa, Tokyo , 2008
150 minutes + 15 minutes intermission
Subtitled in English

Hokaibo is the haunting story of a depraved monk living amidst the din and bustle of the great city of Edo ( Tokyo ). Pretending to raise funds to rebuild a temple bell, Hokaibo actually spends what money he can collect pursuing women. His mind is turned not to the pious thoughts suitable to a monk, but to fantasies of a life of luxury indulging in his favourite food, drink and pleasures of the flesh. Uncontrollable desire and greed lead him to spying, deceit, theft, and even murder. Hokaibo’s adventures end with his own death; his soul merges with the ghost of a long-suffering princess, creating a powerful and dangerous creature who terrorizes the people of Edo living along the Sumida River under the cherry blossoms.

Step-by-step instructions

1) Have your credit card ready
2) Go to the [Theatres] page
3) Choose [Scotiabank Theatre Toronto ]
4) From [Movie Show Time Search], choose the screening date
5) Choose the program you want to see (Heron Maiden, Murder in aHell of Oil, The Zen Substitute, or Hokaibo)
6) Click the show time
7) Follow the ticket sales prompts to complete the sale
*You do not have to be a SCENE card member to buy tickets.
Cool Print out your tickets

1) Have your credit card ready
2) Go to the [Theatres] page
3) Choose [Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas]
4) From [Movie Show Time Search], choose the screening date
5) Choose the program you want to see (Heron Maiden, or Murder in a Hell of Oil)
6) Click the show time
7) Follow the ticket sales prompts to complete the sale
*You do not have to be a SCENE card member to buy tickets.
Cool Print out your tickets

Lady Shizuka from Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees

February 1 - June 22, 2012
Tamasaburo Bando Poster Exhibition
presented at The Japan Foundation

The Japan Foundation, Toronto
131 Bloor Street West, 2nd floor of the Colonnade 416.966.1600 x229

Admission: Free

Gallery Hours
11:30-7 pm Extended hours
Tuesday 11:30-4:30 pm
Wednesday 11:30-4:30 pm
Thursday 11:30-7 pm Extended hours
Friday 11:30-4:30 pm
Select Saturdays Noon-5 pm
Saturday opening dates: February 4 & 25, March 3 & 17, April 14 & 28, May 12 & 26, June 2 & 16
Doors Open Toronto : May 26 & 27, 10 am-5 pm

CLOSED: other Saturdays & Sundays, February 20 (Family Day), April 6-9 (Easter Closing), May 21 (Victoria Day)

Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando V is one of the cultural icons of Japan and an international theatrical phenomenon. While the social modernization after World War II threatened the tradition of Onnagata, male actors who specialize in female roles, Tamasaburo revolutionized and revitalized the meaning of the Onnagata’s existence. Although Kabuki theatre consists of highly stylized expressions, the beauty that Tamasaburo creates on stage enchants people immediately; his every action projects a clear contemporary message. Centering on the Kabuki stage, his artistic activities extend from acting to directing, from film to western theatrical repertoire. Through his incomparable talent, Tamasaburo has attracted a wide range of audiences for over 40 years, inviting them into a fascinating world of illusion. Men and women both agree that Tamasaburo captures feminine beauty more than any actress. Speaking about his artistry, Tamasaburo has said “Performers should be devoted to their work of providing the audience with a spiritual escape from the burdens of everyday reality to the traditional beauties of the past. We theatrical people work hard on this process of illusion, even to the degree of risking our own lives. This is our mission.”

Tamasaburo is by far the most published actor in Japan . His collaboration with such notable photographers as Naotake Fukuda, Kishin Shinoyama, and Shunji Okura has resulted in more than 20 coffee-table photo books (the most recent published in January 2012). Long-term partnering graphic designer Norio Ishiguro has expanded these photographs further into exquisite large-scale posters. This exhibition includes such published objects as posters, photo books, theatrical flyers and house programs on Tamasaburo.


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