Set in Berlin at the rise of the Nazi party, the Broadway musical Cabaret (1966) portrays the relationship between American writer Cliff and English cabaret girl Sally, but the defining characteristic of the musical is its use of cabaret scenes presented by a character known as the Emcee that are interspersed throughout the story. The role of the Emcee opened the way for the more experimental musicals of the 1970s. Cabaret was also innovative in that it dealt with the Nazis, a challenging subject for musicals in the 1960s. However, approaches to Cabaret that focus on background or theme cannot fully account for the function of its musical numbers. This paper offers an analysis of their function from a structural viewpoint.
In view of the distinctiveness of the Emcee as a character, the musical numbers in Cabaret can be divided into three levels: plot numbers derived from characters' conversations or emotions, show numbers sung in a conventional show-in-show style, and numbers by the Emcee, who sometimes criticizes the events of the story from without. A view of how the musical numbers in Cabaret operate at these three levels reveals that both integrated plot numbers and entertaining show numbers function not only to express or emphasize the emotions, conditions, and decisions of the characters, but also to control them.
CHANG Weixian (1905-1978) has played a key role in the development of Shingeki (new plays, counter to the traditional ones) in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period. One of his achievements was going to the Tsukiji Theatre in Tokyo to study the modern theater after the declination of the 1920s theatrical movement. His approach to the theater in Tokyo, however, has been pointed out to be technique and effect focused, which greatly differed from his contemporaries in mainland China.
This technique and effect centered approach in fact symbolizes a divergence between China and Taiwan. Furthermore, we even can perceive an inevitable turning progress from China to Japan on the theatrical influence via CHANG. In this article, I will clarify the reasons why CHANG had such an inclination in his theatrical approach and inspect the relations between this kind of approach and the colonial society as well. By comparing Taiwan with contemporary China and Korea, we will clearly know how the theatrical development was directed and influenced by its social/political environment; and in CHANG's ideas and career, we can find out the characteristics and problems of the Shingeki development in Taiwan during the colonial period.
In this essay I will show the response, the appreciation, and the reception of Kabuki by the Japanese proletarian theatre and profile the performances. Although the close relationship between Shin-geki and Kabuki has been pointed out in previously published articles, Kabuki's association with the proletarian theatre has rarely been discussed before. We can clarify a more authentic view of art in the proletarian theatre, where theatre artists advocated the “revolution”, by comparing it with more traditional Japanese theatres.
First, the Japanese proletarian artists' references and criticisms on Kabuki will be represented. Secondly, I will examine Kurahara Korehito's view of the art form and his influence which stimulated the proletarian theatre artists to pay attention to Kabuki. Finally, the performances by the Taishuza, the company composed of Kabuki actors, will be analyzed, and these arguments will prove the following conclusion: The proletarian theatre consciously and deliberately adopted the other genres of theatres, including Kabuki and Ken-geki. This paper will modify the earlier view of the proletarian theatre and encourage us to reconsider the position of the proletarian theatre in the entire history of Japanese theatre.
It was very important during wartime to provide recreations for farmers and to motivate hard work. The theatre was very useful for this purpose. In the early 1940s, the Japanese government controlled the theatre and used it to boost the wartime spirits. For examples, the JOHO-KYOKU (a part of the government) and other institutions promoted plays by farmers. The government also organized the IDO-ENGEKI-RENMEI (the federation of mobile theatre). As part of the scope of this federation, many actors and actresses went on journey to farm and mountain and marine villages to perform.
Many dramatists and actors approved the policy, and they searched for stories and methods that would be agreeable to the wartime. The mainstream of the drama at this time was SHIN-GEKI (the plays of realism) but the Kabuki and dramas of older styles had a high popularity among farmers. The farmers enjoyed the realism plays by professional actors, but they wanted to see old style dramas also. Many of farmers thought that the SHINGEKI plays were difficult to understand. The SHIN-GEKI spread all over Japan in the 1940s, but the old-style plays remained in the people's hearts.
In 612, Mimaji (味摩之) from Backjae (百済) introduced Gigaku dance (伎楽) into Japan. The Japanese court settled him in the town of Sakurai (桜井) and opened the training school. Yasuda Yojurou (保田與重郎) ascertained that Sakurai was located on the present Sakurai Children's Park with the historical evidences. However, those evidences do not trace back beyond the mid-Heian period (平安794-1185).
I investigated a folk song of Saibara (催馬楽) and the history of Gankouji temple (元興寺), which were the pre-Heian records and documents. In addition, considering the distribution of the powers in the seventh century, and the recent excavations, etc., I reached the conclusion that Sakurai was situated around Kougenji temple (向原寺) in the present Asuka town (明日香).