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 Post subject: [Knowledge] Some Nihon Buyo (Japanese dance) terms
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:31 pm
Posts: 589
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
A very spiky paperweight landed on my left foot today. No dance practice for me tonight.

So, this is the perfect opportunity to work on a post I've been planning for quite a while now--a list of Japanese terms taken from a book called Buyo: The Classical Dance, by Masakatsu Gunji, the third volume of "Performing Arts of Japan." The first batch of terms are from the introduction, written by James R. Brandon. The book itself is not new; it's from 1970. It was available on Abe books last time I checked; there are other books on by the main author on Amazon. Buy new and support the author if you can...

Note: The original text has no kanji or kana. Doubled consonants seem to be indicated in the transliterations, but doubled vowels are notable by their absence. Noh theater is "Noh," not "Nou" or macroned, "aa" is "au," but for all other "o o" and "i i" I know to check, the indications are missing. So take any unfamiliar vowel as a potential double, until better transliteration, kanji, or kana are available.

These are terms used in specific contexts; they may be homonyms of other words, or mean something different outside of this context.

I haven't asked my dance teacher about any of these terms, so please don't attribute any authority to them on that account.

Also, I'm skipping any word already in common unequivocal usage, like shamisen, freely omitting words I think IG forum members are already familiar with or that I remember offhand are in the glossary thread, and freely chucking them in again if I feel like it, or if this author's definition is unusually interesting. This isn't a concordance, just me cruising through the book.

On we go.

From the introduction, A View from Outside:

buyo dance
buyo-geki dance-drama
michiyuki dance interludes depicting travelers on a journey
kudoki love or entreaty scenes
monogatari dramatic recital scene miming the actions of some past event
dammari mime
tachmawari stage fights
hanamichi raised passage from the rear of the auditorium to the stage
de posturing on the hanamichi before arriving onstage
sewamono a play about the lives of commoners
tobi-roppo leaping dance
aragoto "bravura" style of presentation
shinobisanju a single-note style of shamisen accompaniment
henge onstage change of costume
hikinuki a quick change in which one garment is removed to reveal a new one underneath
hada o nugu partial costume change, in which the upper half of a garment is dropped to hang from the waist
rakugo art of the professional storyteller
kata forms; the traditional choreography handed down to the present
iemoto seido headmaster system

From Chapter 1:

kamigata-mai a representative style of dance in the Kyoto-Osaka district, in which the dancer's movements are restricted the one tatami mat
kagura ancient ceremonial dances; liturgical dances
asobi play

This section is full of words without direct translations.

kakucho "rank and style;" having high kakucho is going above/beyond humanness
okisa "largeness;" breadth of expression and depth of content, rather than physical dimension; techniques that make more of each gesture without making them bigger
iki "breath," "spirit," "an artistic way of life"
ma space or time between one movement and the next, one pose and the next; flow, timing
hodo "extent" or "degree" (defined in the same section as "ma")
utsuri "transition" between moods, situations, characters; also the transitions between individual gestures

buyo traditional Japanese dance; a combination of the kanji for mai and odori
buto word for dance before Taisho era; now (1970) the word for Western-style ballroom dancing
odori historically, leaping-jumping dance; rustic, folk, dancing; now (1970) dance, in the Tokyo district
mai historically, rotating-circling dance; court, ritual, religious dancing; now (1970) dance, in the Kansai (Kyoto-Osaka) area
nihon buyo full term for Japanese classical dance
nichibu abbreviated term for Japanese classical dance
kabuki buyo classical dance, as derived from kabuki

shosagoto Kabuki dance piece, in Tokyo area
furigoto Kabuki dance piece, in Tokyo area
keigoto Kabuki dance piece, in Kansai area

bon odori rustic festival dances; summertime Bon festival dances
nembutsu odori semireligious dance
furyu odori townspeople's dance

furi realistic pantomime movement; any pantomime gestures; choreography
nakaha middle part of a dance number, in which dancers move in unison
momomane-buri extremely realistic furi
fuzei buri abstract furi
ningyo-buri human dancers moving in imitation of Bunraku puppets

Gagaku court music
shomyo Buddhist chants
nagauta kind of vocal music, sung
joruri recitative music, from Bunraku puppet drama
tokiwazu a style of joruri
kiyomoto a style of joruri

geza ongaku a group of musicians who perform behind the scenes

su odori a dance performed with only kurotomesode as a costume, usually at a recital or banquet
han isho a performance in which parts of the stage costume are worn, but the wig is omitted; literally, "half-costume"

ji-shibai rough forms of Kabuki popular in castle towns and farming villages
te odori smaller performances like ji-shibai, after Kabuki was restricted to Edo; literally "hand dances"
taikomochi literally "drum-bearers;" also comic dancers

More chapters next time I drop a paperweight on my sore foot. That shouldn't take too long.


Edit: Mods, I posted this in the Arts board instead of adding to the Glossary--I was thinking of it as dance, not a Knowledge Bank topic. Eh. Move wherever it seems best.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Massachusetts
Wow, thank you for taking the time to put this together, and share it with us! Much appreciated! :)

with a fan
drinking sake in the shadow-
falling cherry blossoms.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:11 am
Posts: 254
Location: Hawaii
Wow...that's a lot of words!  Perhaps this should be in a knowledge bank type of place?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:27 pm
Posts: 2689
Location: Columbus, GA, USA
Oops, I totally missed this when it was first posted. I'll move it to the Knowledge Bank and change the title to reflect that.

We're so feral.

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