Arts/Culture ian 7/28/2014

You can catch Stars of the Tokyo Stage at the National Art Gallery in Canberra until October 12 – entry to the exhibition is free.

Stars of the Tokyo stage: Natori Shunsen’s kabuki actor prints reveals the dynamic world of Japan’s kabuki theatre through superb actor portraits created by artist Natori Shunsen (1886–1960) in the 1920s and 1930s. A selection of spectacular kabuki robes further illustrates the extravagance of the theatrical form.

An inspiration to artists for centuries, kabuki draws on Japan’s rich folklore, literature and history, as well as violent, romantic and scandalous events, to present lavish dramatic performances. Kabuki actors – the movie stars of their day – were wildly popular for flamboyant portrayals, extraordinary characters and colourful personal lives. Shunsen’s prints provide a fascinating glimpse into this glamorous world, while demonstrating consummate mastery of traditional Japanese printmaking techniques.

Exclusively from the National Gallery of Australia collection, Stars of the Tokyo stage explores kabuki and modern Japanese printmaking in the context of the astounding changes taking place in Tokyo as the 20th century unfolded. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue and primary and secondary education resources.

There is also a live Kabuki performance on Saturday, August 30 (3:00pm to 4:30pm) when Za Kabuki perform the popular drama Sukeroku and the cherry blossoms of Edo. Places are limited so booking are essential. Cost is $15 adults, $10 members/concessions and $8 children under 16.

If you are visiting Canberra, Rydges Capital Hill can look after all your accommodation needs.

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