Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Noh master to perform Shakespeare's Hamlet in English

"Hamlet in Noh Style," a unique play fusing traditional Japanese Noh drama with William Shakespeare's world, will be performed in English by Kuniyoshi Ueda, Professor of Nihon University Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, on Nov. 13 in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Ueda, who also serves as President of the International Society for Harmony and Combination of Cultures (ISHCC), was not as impressed by a Shakespeare play he saw when in college as he was by a Noh play that stirred his soul. Ueda believes the reason was that the Shakespeare play was translated into prose, even though the original was a poetic drama.

Ueda then began to perform Shakespeare's plays in English-language Noh chants, keeping the poetic lines of the originals alive. After coming back from Harvard University, where he studied as a Fulbright fellow from 1973 to 1975, he performed the play "Hamlet in Noh Style" for the first time in Japan in 1981. Since then, Ueda has performed the play at Tokyo's National Noh Theatre and in several different countries.

At the upcoming show at MOA Museum of Art in Atami, Ueda will perform with his students at Nihon University Graduate School and volunteer members of ISHCC.

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