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Following the highly successful 2016 edition, Noh Reimagined is returning to Kings Place with an exciting new theme and line-up. The two-day festival explores the art of Noh, the iconic theatrical tradition that originated in fourteenth-century Japan. This edition will shed light on the unique dramaturgy of Mugen (‘phantasmal’) Noh, in which the main actor (shite) appears as a ghost in the dream of a travelling monk performed by the supporting actor (waki). The ghost then tells the tragic story of its past life, expressing deep regret and lamentations, hoping to find peace.

Top Noh performers from Japan will work with innovative British artists and neuroscientists in genre-defying collaborations to examine the surreal artistic elements of Noh. Join us to explore time, space and symbolism in Noh theatre through interdisciplinary performances, workshops and talks.

Noh Reimagined 2018 will connect the sublime illusions and transformative power of Noh’s 650-year-old tradition with the creative energy of contemporary arts and culture, posing new questions about who we are.

Curated and produced by mu:arts and International Noh Project Committee, Tokyo in partnership with Kings Place, Japan Foundation and the Noh Theatre Research Institute, Hosei University.

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Phenotypica – Installation

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An installation at the intersection between art, science and technology will be exhibited by Phenotypica, an initiative created by multi-award winning artist Neus Torres Tamarit and computer scientist Ben Murray.

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Noh Reimagined – Opening Talk

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Professor Semir Zeki and Professor Atsushi Iriki will discuss the connections between the brain and Noh theatre, followed by an introduction to Mugen Noh by Reiko Yamanaka, director of the Noh Theatre Research Institute.

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The Sublime Illusions of Mugen Noh

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Six leading Noh performers present highlights from a masterpiece of Mugen Noh, Izutsu (The Well Cradle), along with some of the finest instrumental and dance sections from the classical Noh repertoire.

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Leon Michener + Noh

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An evening of mind-bending musical exploration with pianist Leon Michener, nohkan flautist Yukihiro Isso and Noh percussionists, using the space between the piano and the auditorium as a counterpoint to traditional Noh music.

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Noh Movement Workshop

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Come and learn the movement patterns of Noh, including how to focus your centre of gravity and energy. Participants will turn these basic movements into a series of fluid motions that enable subtle emotional expression.

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Seminar – Noh Mask, Noh Movement

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Two professors from the Noh Theatre Research Institute, Hosei University unveil the secrets of Noh movement through narrative and scientific analyses and discuss how Noh masks represent the spirits of invisible ghost, deities and demons.

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Talk and Presentation – Noh + Neuroscience

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A Noh demonstration with special stage lighting designed by Professor Zeki and Professor Iriki talks about how Noh actors learn to judge their performances objectively in reference to neuroscience.

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Pre-concert talk – Clod Ensemble

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Artistic directors Suzy Willson and Paul Clark discuss the creative process behind their new piece, including a recent research trip to Japan.

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The Transformative Power of Noh

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Performances include the ‘lion dance’ from the celebrated classical Noh piece Shakkyo, premieres of Noh-inspired works by Wiebke Leister with David Toop and Clod Ensemble, and a new piece by Yukihiro Isso that is influenced by neuroscience.

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