TOKYO, October 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — On Monday, October 27 the Kabukiza Theatre in Ginza, Tokyo, which some refer to as the center of Japanese traditional performing arts, was abuzz with the glitz and glamour of the film world as the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) presented “Special Night at Kabukiza Theatre.”
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This unique event drew international audiences, celebrities, and both domestic and overseas media to witness a special Kabuki performance of “Shakkyo” (Stone Bridge) by Ichikawa Somegoro, one of Japan’s top Kabuki performers, and a special screening of City Lights by the legendary Charlie Chaplin. The evening was hosted by actress Miki Nakatani, the ‘Festival Muse’ for TIFF 2014.
Ms. Nakatani welcomed the audience to the historic venue while appearing onstage in a beautiful kimono. In her opening remarks, Ms. Nakatani said that it was a ‘great honor’ to help out with the event which would allow the audience to ‘enjoy the wonders of theatre and film.’
The audience was then treated to an outstanding performance of Shakkyo by Ichikawa Somegoro who portrayed a mythological lion on a stone bridge. Afterwards, the actor told the audience that he had chosen Shakkyo because it contained many of the defining characteristics of Kabuki such as costumes, makeup, poses, and stage, which the audience would appreciate. He described the performance as a battle which demonstrated the ‘power of the lion.’
Charlie Chaplin was known to have a strong connection to Kabuki, and first visited the theatre in 1936 where he met the great grandfather of Ichikawa Somegoro. In 1889 both the Kabukiza Theatre was established and Chaplin was born, so in recognition of this lasting connection between the artist and the theatre, a special screening of “City Lights” was presented.
To conclude the evening, Ichikawa Somegoro and Miki Nakatani answered questions from the overseas and domestic media. Ms. Nakatani remarked that the performance was ‘fantastic’ and she appreciated the effort and skill which had been put into Shakkyo. Ichikawa Somegoro described the evening as ‘happy, fun, and exciting’, and noted that he was ‘very glad to have this chance’ to present Kabuki to the world.