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The Dance Called "Noh"

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Japanese Dolls223 of 250Accesories for the Hina MatsuriGeisha Getting Ready for Her Appointment
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Posted 7 years ago


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Noh , or Nogaku - derived from the Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh 'performance day' lasts all day and consists of five Noh plays interspersed with shorter, humorous kyugen pieces. However, present-day Noh performances consist of two Noh plays with one Kyugen play in between.

While the field of Noh performance is extremely codified, and regulated by the iemoto system, with an emphasis on tradition rather than innovation, some performers do compose new plays or revive historical ones that are not a part of the standard repertoire. Works blending Noh with other theatrical traditions have also been produced.

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