Workshop: An Introduction to Noh Performance
Get a first-hand experience of Noh performance with an interactive workshop led by Wakebayashi Michiharu, a Noh actor from the Kanze School, and his daughter Wakebayashi Kanako, Manager at Shinyo Kaikan Noh Theatre.
Performed in Japan since the 14th century CE, Noh is a highly stylized and sophisticated theatre art featuring song, dance and music, requiring highly trained actors and musicians.
This small-group workshop introduces participants to the basic elements of Noh performance, allowing them to experience its fundamental movement patterns including kamae (posture) and hakobi (manner of walking), chanting techniques and the use of fans, a common prop in Noh which typically represents various objects over the course of a single play.
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During the event, participants are required to take off their shoes. They are recommended to wear socks and clothes that don’t restrict movement.
The workshop is preceded by a talk and demonstration exploring the principles of Noh performance and the lives of Noh actors. Learn more about this event and book a place.
About the instructors
Born in Kyoto in 1967, Wakebayashi Michiharu is a Noh actor of the Kanze School. He graduated from the faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts, and trained under his grandfather Yasuzo, his father Koichi and the late Kuroemon Katayama IX (‘Living National Treasure’). He is director of the Kyoto Kanze-kai (Association of the Kanze School) and a part-time lecturer at Toei Gakuen, Kyoto and lecturer at Noh Club of Japan Business Association Tokyo. He organizes his own students' association, Shinyokai, in Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe Sanda and runs regular workshops introducing Noh and related cultures at his family's Noh theatre, the Shinyo Kaikan.
Born in Kyoto in 1997, Wakebayashi Kanako performed Noh as a child actor until she was 12 years old. Since 2019, as a performer, she has belonged to a research group dedicated to shirabyōshi, a type of performance by women from the 12 and 13th centuries. After studying western art history at Kyoto University, she has been engaged in the management of her family’s Noh theatre Shinyo Kaikan, promoting the arts and cultures of Japan. She is currently studying for an MA in arts management at Goldsmiths, University of London.