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Beautiful Boys Outlaw Bodies: Devising Kabuki by Katherine Mezur

By Katherine Mezur

This booklet is a feminist studying of the historical past of gender functionality and development of the feminine function gamers, onnagata, of the Kabuki theater. it isn't restricted to a "theater arts" concentration, quite it's a mapping and shut research of transformative genders via numerous ancient classes in Japan (the 17th throughout the 20th centuries). specifically, the paintings makes a speciality of undoing of binary genders, the sensual ambiguity of boy-ness, early life, and female-likeness and the cultural improvement of the aesthetics of eroticism, nostalgia, and cruelty dependent in female-like transformative gender acts. The paintings can be a visible cultures learn because it attracts not just on literary assets but in addition prints, pictures, movie, and video documentation.

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Extra resources for Beautiful Boys Outlaw Bodies: Devising Kabuki Female-Likeness

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Consequently, their first attempts to act were imitations of onnagata. In Gender Impersonation Onstage, Jill Dolan describes a similar phenomenon in several Western theatrical traditions: The cross-dressing tradition of male casts in Greek, Shakespeare, and popular theatrical forms in England and America effectively erased women, substituting the man-made Woman for women to emulate. The theatrical mirror is really an empty frame. The images reflected in it have been consciously constructed according to political necessity, with a particular, perceiving subject in mind who looks into the mirror for his identity .

Within theatre practice, the clearest illustration of this division is in the tradition of the all-male stage. “Woman” was played by male actors in drag, while actual women were banned from the stage. 70 Case goes on to discuss the ways in which women were suppressed, and how the fiction of Woman in plays and theatrical practice came to replace them completely. I propose that in a similar way, onnagata were the inventors of a fiction of Woman in the Edo period. However, I would make two additional points that reflect my concern for cultural specificity and a transnational feminist positioning.

Contracts all kabuki performers and operates with a bureaucratic and boxoffice vision. This huge entertainment corporation has drastically changed kabuki performance, audiences, and flavor. , forces actors to repeat successful programs and overworks the star performers. Because of this, there has been little opportunity for experimentation and risk-taking. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that onnagata like Nakamura Utaemon VI vigorously revived the art of the onnagata and, in so doing, popularized kabuki in the crucial postwar period.

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