The finale of the festival, The Transformative Power of Noh, celebrated the ability of Noh to create other-worldly figures that transcend time and space.
The programme included Shishi (Lion Dance) from the popular classical Noh play Shakkyo (Stone Bridge), in which a lion, messenger of Manjusri Bodhisattva, appears at a stone bridge and dances with gorgeous, fragrant peony flowers.
In addition, Yukihiro Isso’s highly-acclaimed Shishi 16, a Lion Dance in modern style, and his brand-new composition with a story by Atsushi Iriki were presented by all Noh performers.
Echoes and Callings
Echoes and Callings by Wiebke Leister (art), David Toop (music), Yukihiro Isso (Nohkan flute) re-imagined Noh by combining photographs of life-casts and death-masks with improvised sound to evoke the out-of-body existence of angry female demons.
Shishi (music from the ‘Lion Dance’ in the play Shakkyo ) ~ Shishi 16
In the second half, the award-winning London-based performing arts group Clod Ensemble premiered their new piece “Snow“, a poetic monologue inspired by the restless spirits in Japanese Noh Theatre and featuring the voice of legendary New York performer Peggy Shaw. In this piece, the words and music unlock the world of a traveller who finds herself thrown into darkness under the snow.
More information about Snow can be found on the Clod Ensemble’s website.
Generously supported by Yakult UK, Arts Council England, JSPS, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and others.