A press conference was held for Shochiku Grand Kabuki, part of the official program.
Shochiku Grand Kabuki is part of the Japonismes 2018 official program. Nakamura Shido and Nakamura Shichinosuke, leading actors in the Shochiku Grand Kabuki performances scheduled for Paris, attended a press conference hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on April 26, 2018.
Asked about the two plays to be performed, Iromoyō Chotto Karimame – Kasane and Narukami, Shido, who will be performing in Paris for the first time, replied, “The two pieces that we’re bringing to France are actually classic traditional masterpieces. Narukami is a very dynamic and typical kabuki piece that has all the mie stop-motion poses. It is what people typically think of when hearing “kabuki”. It is also a very simple story that is very popular here in Japan, and I’m sure it will be well accepted in France as well. We are grateful to have the opportunity to perform these great roles that carry on the spirit and memory of past great actors. For Kasane, it will be my debut in this role, and I look forward to performing with Shichinosuke.”
Shichinosuke, who will also be performing in Paris for the first time, commented, “I am very pleased and happy to have the opportunity to take part in Japonismes 2018 to mark the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and France. I am also very honored to have been chosen for this special occasion from among the many kabuki actors. I recognize the responsibility I have been endowed with to pass on what our ancestors handed down to us. I hope we can convey the kabuki we love so much to the audience in France.”
Hiroyasu Ando, president of the Japan Foundation, the Secretariat for Japonismes 2018, also spoke at the press conference, describing his expectations for this event: “One of the biggest highlights will be kabuki, a classic Japanese stage art. The inclusion of kabuki in the Japonismes 2018 program was of course very high on the wish list of organizers on both sides. It will be very exciting to see how these two dynamic actors, Nakamura Shido and Nakamura Shichinosuke, use their talents to reach out and touch the souls of French audiences.”
Jay Sakomoto, President & CEOof Shochiku Co., Ltd. which will produce the event, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, saying, “For this special occasion of Japonismes 2018, we are honored to present a kabuki production produced by Shochiku. I am very happy to share kabuki with the French people – an art form brimming with Japanese values and aesthetics. Since 1928, Shochiku has been bringing kabuki overseas for 90 years. The first performance in France was in 1965 with Nakamura Shichinosuke’s grandfather (Nakamura Kanzaburō XVII), and this will be the 11th production presented in France. I sincerely hope that this project plays an integral role in the ongoing cultural exchange between Japan and France.”
(From left) Jay Sakomoto, Nakamura Shichinosuke, Nakamura Shido, Hiroyasu Ando
Shochiku Grand Kabuki program details