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IDSEMUG 1991 - Japanese Performing Arts

Japan is famous for freezing performing art forms as national traditions well into the modern period. This is why it is only in Japan that you can today see Chinese Tang era (618–907) Imperial court dance (called Bugaku). Of course, new performing arts were and are also created. This course will explore a range of Japanese modern and premodern performing arts. Our objectives will be at least twofold: to acquire a cultural sophistication that allows us to appreciate these arts through an understanding of how and why they take their various forms; and to think broadly about them in relation to modern Japan. How do the specifics of Japanese language and culture affect these arts? We will also think carefully about gender, class, (and love), and how these have changed over time in Japan. Our performative texts will include Bugaku, Noh Drama, Kabuki, Puppet Theater, Butoh Dance and the Takarazuka Revue, and our secondary sources analyses by Jennifer Robertson, Naoki Sakai, Susan Klein, and others.
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Spring 2019
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