World-famous Kabuki actor Tamasaburo makes rare U.S. visit – March 20-22
For more info on local events related to Japanese performing arts, check out the JETAANC Kabuki Club website: http://www.jetaanc.org/kabuki
For more than four decades, Tamasaburo has delivered acclaimed performances in onnagata (Kabuki female roles), establishing himself with unsurpassed artistry as a tate oyama, or leading actor of female roles, in the contemporary Kabuki scene.Although he was not born into a distinguished family of Kabuki performers, Tamasaburo has devoted his life to the craft from childhood, making his stage debut at the age of seven. At 19 he was selected to play the role of Princess Shiranui in the Kabuki drama, Chinsetsu Yumiharizuki (The Moon Like a Drawn Bow); the following year he played Omiwa in Imoseyama Onna Teikin Goten (At the Palace on Mount Mikasa, from The Teachings for Women). His career has been characterized by a pioneering spirit that led him to collaborate with the shimpa (new school) in Kyoka Izumi’s Keiko Ogi in 1975, and to play the role of Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth the following year. In 2007, under his own artistic direction, he staged marathon performances of Kyoka Izumi’s works for an entire month, an unprecedented event at Tokyo’s famed Kabuki-za Theater.
Tamasaburo’s achievements in dance, drama and film have been recognized beyond the world of Kabuki theater. In 1984 he was invited to represent Japan in the Metropolitan Opera’s Centennial Gala, where he was featured along with such renowned performers as chanson singer Yves Montand, ballet dancers Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, and opera singer Plácido Domingo; his performance of Sagi Musume (The Heron Maiden) attracted worldwide attention. He has also collaborated with ballet luminaries such as Maurice Béjart and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and performed with the Japanese taiko drum ensemble Kodo. His films include Gekashitsu (The Operating Room), which he co-wrote and directed, and Andrzej Wajda’s Nastasja, in which he played the double roles of Prince Myshkin and Nastasja. In 2008, Tamasaburo participated in China’s Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater, playing the lead role in The Peony Pavilion in Beijing.
Tamasaburo makes a multifaceted world come alive in numerous different performing arts, and continues to hold countless audiences spellbound with unsurpassed artistry.