Libmonster ID: U.S.-1418
Author(s) of the publication: A. ZHUKOVA

Great Russian choreographers of the 20th century and masters of stage folk dance tried to find an answer to the difference in the staging of dances of the peoples of Russia and East Asia (China, Korea, Japan). Today, with actively expanding international cultural contacts, this issue is becoming relevant for a new generation of choreographers and dancers who are trying to avoid scholastic stylization of the "Far East" or automatic transfer of dance folklore to the domestic stage when preparing concert programs. It is not enough to study the cut of the costume and its color scheme, although such details should not be neglected, it is important to understand the principles of staged composition of folk dance, which contains not only the history and cultural traditions, but also the character, aesthetics and psychology of human behavior in life, the mentality of the whole people.

Japanese traditional dance (nihon buyo), numbering about 120 types and representing 120 different schools, respectively, has a certain purely Japanese specificity, combining both folk dance and classical dance in a single concept - "traditional dance". The history of the emergence and development of these two trends is connected with the history of Japanese culture, and their interpretation differs significantly from the interpretation of the European terms "classical"and " folk". This is explained by the fact that the Japanese worldview reflected in these areas differs from the European one in certain psychophysical, historical and cultural features. Japanese folk dance developed in connection with the formation of religious ideas, with the development of music, with the appearance of musical instruments in different historical periods, with the philosophy and aesthetics of musical performance, as well as with different methods of sound extraction in the process of playing each of them, and, accordingly, with the visual and sound perception of listeners.

Unlike in the West, where classical choreography refers exclusively to classical ballet, in Japan, classical is a traditional theatrical and dance performance art (Gagaku, No, Kabuki) that exists inextricably, since the basis of both Japanese theater and choreography is the unity of music and dance.


Gagaku-music and dance of the Japanese imperial court, the oldest performing art in Japan. The gagaku genre appeared about 1300 years ago. As a performing art form, it combines a variety of musical and dance styles, many of which came from continental Europe.

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Asia via China and Korea. Gagaku has changed little over the centuries. However, now it has become available to the widest audience and not only in Japan.

No is a well-known music and dance drama form that has existed in Japan for about 600 years. It exists in two types:: as a mask theater and as a folk dance. The theater is based on an event-psychological (historical, everyday, documentary) play from the life of the people and society of Japan. The play features one main character (shite) and one supporting character (waki); a choir (jiutai); and musicians (Hayashikata). The repertoire and aesthetics of Noh theater were created by Joami (1363-1442) and his follower Nobumitsu (1435-1516). For the first time, the mask in the Joami theater becomes psychological (he created 101 masks-characters), and not typical, which has become a characteristic feature of the No Theater. In Japanese folk dances, the mask originated during ritual agricultural and religious festivals. Theatrical scenes from historical plays by Noh and folk dances based on them, as well as scenes from the life of ordinary Japanese people, are the basis of many holidays in modern Japan, especially in rural areas.

Kabuki - originated about 400 years ago. Initially, these were exercises to develop the technique of performing a female dance (Kabuki odori), but soon developed into stage plays, all the roles in which were performed by men. Features of this musical and performing style and the Kabuki theater formed on its basis are bright makeup, lush and luxurious clothes, carefully designed stage equipment,entertainment and skill of acting. Since 1750, dancers in the Kabuki Theater move to a vocal accompaniment that sets out the story. One actor plays several roles in the course of a play. Kabuki style has its own traditional music, associative and metaphorical movements, but the main thing is poses, in each of which it is important to fix the gesture, turn the head, position and distance of the feet from each other.


It is believed that in the VIII century. from China to Japan came two folk dances, from which two styles of traditional Japanese dance began to develop, called "bugaku"and " saigaku".

The style of "odori" (as Japanese folk dance is called in Japan) was formed on the basis of "saigaku", which was banished in 950 from the Imperial Palace to the square, to the people, and gave development to dance in the Noh Theater (in choreography there is drama, explained by recitation and emphasized in accents by poses and plasticity; there is also detailing changing masks) and Kabuki (at first a collection of dances, then plays with a plot and plot, where dances and songs remained; dances artistically embodied everyday actions). In "odori", lively and direct, dancers in bright outfits for the delight of the audience perform jumps in the air in imitation of the popular mass traditions of "nembitsu-odori", which originated more than a thousand years ago, and demonstrative"furyu-odori".

The " mai " style is typical of dance forms that developed in the area of the ancient Japanese capitals - Kyoto and Osaka. "Mai" (or" kamigata-mai " - after the name of the area from which this style originates) originated in the XII century. on the basis of traditions established by court dancers and singers at banquets in the cities of Kyoto and Osaka, and later - on the basis of the traditions of the Noh theater, which originated there. In the style of "May", the actor literally glides, touching the floor or the surface of the ground completely with one foot. The choreography of " May " is characterized by calmness and elegance. Both odori and mai styles were influenced by Buddhism.

Common to both styles is the use of small objects (folding fan, hand towel, sun umbrella, kimono details) to give more expressiveness to the movements, as well as the possibility of male and female performance. In both styles, they prefer the refined grace of the hands, the entire body body, the center of gravity of which is located quite low. The legs, bent at the knees, are kept close to the floor, and each movement smoothly passes into the next due to small steps - for women and wide, almost acrobatic-for men.

The musical and dance performing arts of the Japanese people were the basis of professional theatrical performances that arose in different periods of the country's development. In modern Japan, their development takes place on the principle of "increment", that is, the addition of a new, for example, accelerated rhythm in music, while the essence and principles of musical harmony remain unchanged, as well as the visual quality of not only plastic, but also sound.


Opera productions by Peter Brook and Mikhail Baryshnikov set a precedent for the Japanese and in the world, worthy of detailed study. Such choreographers as Maurice Bejard, Roland Petit, and Nikolai Androsov are constantly trying to combine classical ballet with traditional forms of Japanese art.

At the turn of the XX-XXI centuries, the adaptation of Japanese folk choreography for the Western audience is sinful either by introducing movements, folklore drawing of a national ethnic group, or is often a schematic stylization of Japanese attributes familiar to tourists: a fan, a kimono, an obi (wide brocade women's belt), stones, the sea.

There are some features of the visual arts of Japan, including choreography, that were not previously known in the past.-

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It was given due importance neither in the West, nor here in Russia.

1. Kimura Shozaburo, a Japanese methodologist for teaching Japanese culture and the Japanese language, believes that the difference between Japanese and Europeans can be called the difference between" people of sight "and"people of voice"1. The eyes of the Japanese are not only an organ of vision, but also an organ of speech; meeting the gaze of another person, the Japanese understands the movement of his soul, his feelings; for him, the eyes speak as much as the language. Japanese for "kokoro"* it means "soul, heart, mind". Thus, the heart for the Japanese is a mental organ, the center of mental activity, the core of every thing. In contrast to the "mind" and "feeling" that exist separately in the European view, in Japanese they syncretically fit into one word and one concept.2 And this is the result of the historical development of everyday, linguistic and cultural traditions based on various socio-psychological principles, such as worldview and worldview3.

Japanese people are awed by the contemplation of beauty and color, asymmetry and infinity, preferring to conduct a "dialogue of views and feelings" whenever possible and feel even the business context of negotiations in silence.

2. For the Japanese, the meaning of sounds, noises and every sound in music is important, since they consider any sound to be pictorial, which is associated with a psychophysical factor: in the East Asian ethnic group, the left hemisphere is responsible for all intellectual, emotional and creative work of the brain 4. In the perception of the Japanese, sound patterns are important. Japanese people feel the seasons in full volume of sounds (for example, autumn with all its noises of wind, rain, storm at sea, brittle frosts on the water, rustling leaves, sounds made by animals and insects) and feel their "sound semantics" as the meaning of words. Perhaps this is the beginning of the answer to the attraction of Europeans to Japanese culture. Listening to the sounds of nature, Japanese people feel the frailty of human life and appreciate every moment of it.

3. When staging Japanese musical or other stage material, Western directors, choreographers, and conductors do not take into account the historical period that corresponds to a certain spatial worldview of the Japanese, which forms a specific artistic worldview.

4. It is necessary to take into account the differences between European music and Japanese traditional music and, in this regard, different plasticity. Describing Japanese traditional music, it should be noted that it is based on a free rhythm and single-beat melodies that can easily last or shorten, i.e. sound without longitudes. Traditional music of Japan, although it did not know musical notation before its introduction to Europe, was still based on the same singing capabilities of the human voice and ear, using, however, five notes in different variations, but the melody was transmitted not in recordings, but by word of mouth from teacher to student.

Japanese traditional music cannot be played on European instruments, because the Japanese concept of rhythm is very different from European music, which has a metrical genesis, and it is built on the principle of "strong" and "weak", and there is a strong stress in words. The Japanese have a musical criterion - "high" and " low " sound, and the stress in the vocabulary is musical, not forceful. Japanese music is divided into two categories by the Japanese themselves: "katarimono" (telling a story) and " utaimono "(singing). But in both cases, the pause between words or in music is an independent part of the narrative, although it is harmoniously merged with it. If the voice is late in a Japanese performance, the music itself is late, or the dancer freezes at the climax of the piece, this " ma " (pause) is a very important moment in Japanese performance art.

The determining role of sound and pauses between them or noises, the alternation of sounds and pauses are extremely important in understanding the national perception of the Japanese world around them and the structure of relationships with it. The recitation of classical tanka and haiku poetry is based on this principle; we see the same in the dramaturgy and recitative of the text of plays, in the music of the Japanese No mask theater, in the performance of fairy tales under biwa**, in the philosophy of meditation in a Japanese dry garden, in the genre of a scroll vertical landscape painted in ink, in a style close to calligraphy, as well as the poetic text of the tank on the same scroll, etc.


Japanese stage ethics are inseparable from the culture of everyday life of the Japanese. The ethics of Japanese music and dance performing arts are related to the rules of everyday speech communication.

In everyday life, the Japanese are very polite to each other, observing the age-old traditions of respect for their elders. Japanese speech etiquette necessarily requires bowing at a distance between the parties during the exchange of greetings, which is preserved in the Japanese music and dance performing arts.

The bow of men is slightly lower than that of women; during the bow, men keep their hands at their sides. The head is slightly tilted down. Japanese women bow on their legs slightly bent at the knees, the palms of their hands rest on the upper parts of their legs, and the head is also slightly tilted down.

With the same bows, performers thank each other and the audience at the end of a performance, a separate dance, or a stage in a performance.

* "Kokoro " or" sin " (Japanese); corresponds to the concepts of "sin" (Chinese) and "chitta" (Sanskrit).

** Biwa is a Japanese four-stringed musical instrument.

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It is important to maintain a distance between performers in a pair and mass Japanese dance or in a theatrical performance. The need for this was formed over the centuries in parallel with the development of Japanese culture and historical changes in the structure of Japanese society, in the ideas of the Japanese about the world, space and self-perception in it.

Folk dance in both Russia and Japan retains its essence in stage form. However, in Russia there are separate groups that continue and preserve the traditions of Russian folk dance, dances of the peoples of the world and classical dance. In Japan, as a rule, there are ensembles of both classical dance and Japanese traditional dance, such as the Kotosono collective, created in 1952 by the famous dancer and choreographer Fujima Kotosono.

The orchestra often uses a combination of Western European instruments and traditional Japanese ones-shamisen, drums and flutes. Sometimes the arrangement comes close to jazz. All this makes dancing clearer to today's audience. This is one of the constant techniques in modern Japanese instrumental orchestras and folk music and folk dance groups used on tours in Europe and America, as Japanese professional choreographers and musicians strive to be clear and understood.

Kimura S. 1 Mano hito to koeno hito. - NHK Koko gendai kokugo 2, kyozaihombun. Tokyo, 1976, pp. 11, 17, 19.

Serdyuk E. A. 2 Destinies of landscape thinking in the Japanese art of the new time / / Man and world in Japanese Culture, Moscow, 1985, pp. 183-195.

3 Domestic Japanese scholars develop the category of "look" as the main one in the system of Japanese culture, based on the literal translation of the verb "look" (yap.: to the world) and its derivatives, as well as on the analysis of Japanese texts (Meshcheryakov A. N. Vzglyad na prostranstvo i prostranstvo vzglyad. - Foreign literature. 1993, N 5). However, according to the author, this is a simplified interpretation, since the "view" itself is only an external manifestation of a more complex psychological and physiological perception of the world and the person in it, as well as energy impact. Therefore, rather, the main category of Japanese worldview and culture is "visual and avisual (sound)". perception and energy-psychological impact". (See: Zhukova I. V., Zhukova A.V. Pinero, pinero. On the musical culture of Japan in the XX century. Moscow, 2004.) Moreover, some Japanists, for example, D. G. Glaveva, note the need for interdisciplinary research of the main categories of Japanese traditional culture (D. G. Glaveva, Traditional Japanese Culture. Specificity of world perception, Moscow, 2003, pp. 7, 9.).

Tsunoda Tadanobu. 4 Nihonjin=no noo (Japanese brain). Tokyo, Taishukan, 15.02.1978.


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