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Zarzuela is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating operatic and popular song, as well as dance. The etymology of the name is not totally certain, but some propose it may derive from the name of a Royal hunting lodge, the Palacio de la Zarzuela near Madrid, where, allegedly, this type of entertainment was first presented to the court. The palace was named after the place called "La Zarzuela" because of the profusion of brambles (zarzas) that grew there, and so the festivities held within the walls became known as "Zarzuelas". There are two main forms of zarzuela: Baroque zarzuela (c.16301750), the earliest style, and Romantic zarzuela (c.18501950), which can be further divided into two. Main sub-genres are gnero grande and gnero chico, although other sub-divisions exist. Zarzuela spread to the Spanish colonies, and many Hispanic countries notably Cuba developed their own traditions. There is also a strong tradition in the Philippines where it is also known as sarswela/sarsuela. Other regional and linguistic variants in Spain include the Basque zarzuela and the Catalan sarsuela. A masque-like musical theatre had existed in Spain since the time of Juan del Encina. The zarzuela genre was innovative in giving a dramatic function to the musical numbers, which were integrated into the argument of the work. Dances and choruses were incorporated as well as solo and ensemble numbers, all to orchestral accompaniment.

Baroque Zarzuela
In 1657 at the Royal Palace of El Pardo, King Philip IV of Spain, Queen Mariana and their court attended the first performance of a new comedy by Pedro Caldern de la Barca, with music by Juan Hidalgo de Polanco. El Laurel de Apolo (The Laurels of Apollo) traditionally symbolizes the birth of a new musical genre which had become known as La Zarzuela. Like Caldern de la Barca's earlier El golfo de las sirenas (The Sirens' Gulf, 1657), El Laurel de Apolo mixed mythological verse drama with operatic solos, popular songs and dances. The characters in these early, baroque zarzuelas were a mixture of gods, mythological creatures and rustic or pastoral comedy characters; Antonio de Literes's popular Acis y Galatea (1708) is yet another example. Unlike some other operatic forms, there were spoken interludes, often in verse.

Romantic Zarzuela
After the Glorious Revolution of 1868, the country entered a deep crisis (especially economically), which was reflected in theatre. The public could not afford high-priced theatre tickets for grandiose productions, which led to the rise of the Teatros Variedades ("variety theatres") in Madrid, with cheap tickets for one-act plays (sainetes). This "theatre of an hour" had great success and zarzuela composers took to the new formula with alacrity. Single-act zarzuelas were classified as gnero chico ("little genre") whilst the longer zarzuelas of three acts, lasting up to four hours, were called gnero grande ("grand genre"). Zarzuela grande battled on at the Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid, founded by Barbieri and his friends in the 1850s. A newer theatre, the Apolo, opened in 1873. At first it attempted to present the gnero grande, but it soon yielded to the taste and economics of the time, and became the "temple" of the more populist gnero chico in the late 1870s. Musical content from this era ranges from full-scale operatic arias (romanzas) through to popular songs, and dialogue from high poetic drama to lowlife comedy characters. There are also many types of zarzuela in between the two named genres, with a variety of musical and dramatic flavours. Many of the greatest zarzuelas were written in the 1880s and 1890s, but the form continued to adapt to new theatrical stimuli until well into the 20th century. With the onset of the Spanish Civil War, the form rapidly declined, and the last romantic zarzuelas to hold the stage were written in the 1950s. Whilst Barbieri produced the greatest zarzuela grande in El barberillo de Lavapis, the classic exponent of the gnero chico was his pupil Federico Chueca, whose La gran va (composed with Joaqun Valverde Durn) was a cult success both in Spain and throughout Europe. The musical heir of Chueca was Jos Serrano, whose short, one act gnero chico zarzuelas notably La cancin del olvido, Alma de dios and the much later Los claveles and La dolorosa - form a stylistic bridge to the more musically sophisticated zarzuelas of the 20th Century.

Screenshots from the popular Zarzuela entitled Walang Sugat of Severino Reyes

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dancedrama. Kabuki theatre is known for the

stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers. Kabuki is therefore sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing." These are, however, ateji characters which do not reflect actual etymology. The kanji of 'skill' generally refers to a performer in kabuki theatre. Since the word kabuki is believed to derive from the verb kabuku, meaning "to lean" or "to be out of the ordinary", kabuki can be interpreted as "avant-garde" or "bizarre" theatre. The expression kabukimono referred originally to those who were bizarrely dressed and swaggered on a street.

Elements of Kabuki
Stage Design
The kabuki stage features a projection called a hanamichi, a walkway which extends into the audience and via which dramatic entrances and exits are made. Okuni also performed on a hanamichi stage with her entourage. The stage is used not only as a walkway or path to get to and from the main stage, but important scenes are also played on the stage. Kabuki stages and theaters have steadily become more technologically sophisticated, and innovations including revolving stages and trap doors, were introduced during the 18th century. A driving force has been the desire to manifest one frequent theme of kabuki theater, that of the sudden, dramatic revelation or transformation.[18] A number of stage tricks, including actors' rapid appearance and disappearance, employ these innovations. The term keren, often translated playing to the gallery, is sometimes used as a catch-all for these tricks. Hanamichi and several innovations including revolving stage, seri and chunori have all contributed to kabuki play. Hanamichi creates depth and both seri and chunori provide a vertical dimension. Mawari-butai (revolving stage) developed in the Kyh era (17161735). The trick was originally accomplished by the on-stage pushing of a round, wheeled platform. Later a circular platform was embedded in the stage with wheels beneath it facilitating movement. The kuraten (darkened revolve) technique involves lowering the stage lights during this transition. More commonly the lights are left on for akaten (lighted revolve), sometimes simultaneously performing the transitioning scenes for dramatic effect. This stage was first built in Japan in the early eighteenth century. Seri refers to the stage "traps" that have been commonly employed in kabuki since the middle of the 18th century. These traps raise and lower actors or sets to the stage. Seridashi or seriage refers to trap(s) moving upward and serisage or serioroshi to traps descending. This technique is often used to lift an entire scene at once.

Chnori (riding in mid-air) is a technique, which appeared toward the middle of the 19th century, by which an actors costume is attached to wires and he is made to fly over the stage and/or certain parts of the auditorium. This is similar to the wire trick in the stage musical Peter Pan, in which Peter launches himself into the air. It is still one of the most popular keren (visual tricks) in kabuki today; major kabuki theaters, such as the National Theatre, Kabuki-za and Minami-za, are all equipped with chnori installations. Scenery changes are sometimes made mid-scene, while the actors remain on stage and the curtain stays open. This is sometimes accomplished by using a Hiki Dgu, or small wagon stage. This technique originated at the beginning of the 18th century, where scenery or actors move on or off stage on a wheeled platform. Also common are stagehands rushing onto the stage adding and removing props, backdrops and other scenery; these kuroko are always dressed entirely in black and are traditionally considered invisible. Stagehands also assist in a variety of quick costume changes known as hayagawari (quick change technique). When a character's true nature is suddenly revealed, the devices of hikinuki or bukkaeri are often used. This involves layering one costume over another and having a stagehand pull the outer one off in front of the audience.

The three main categories of kabuki play are jidai-mono (historical, or pre-Sengoku period stories), sewa-mono (domestic, or post-Sengoku stories) and shosagoto (dance pieces). Jidaimono, or history plays, were set within the context of major events in Japanese history. Strict censorship laws during the Edo period prohibited the representation of contemporary events and particularly prohibited criticizing the shogunate or casting it in a bad light, although enforcement varied greatly over the years. Many shows were set in the context of the Genpei War of the 1180s, the Nanboku-ch Wars of the 1330s, or other historical events. Frustrating the censors, many shows used these historical settings as metaphors for contemporary events. Kanadehon Chshingura, one of the most famous plays in the kabuki repertoire, serves as an excellent example; it is ostensibly set in the 1330s, though it actually depicts the contemporary (18th century) affair of the revenge of the 47 Ronin. Unlike jidaimono which generally focused upon the samurai class, sewamono focused primarily upon commoners, namely townspeople and peasants. Often referred to as "domestic plays" in English, sewamono generally related to themes of family drama and romance. Some of the most famous sewamono are the love suicide plays, adapted from works by the bunraku playwright Chikamatsu; these center on romantic couples who cannot be together in life due to various circumstances and who therefore decide to be together in death instead. Many if not most sewamono contain significant elements of this theme of societal pressures and limitations. Important elements of kabuki include the mie, in which the actor holds a picturesque pose to establish his character. At this point his house name (yag) is sometimes heard in loud shout (kakegoe) from an expert

audience member, serving both to express and enhance the audience's appreciation of the actor's achievement. An even greater compliment can be paid by shouting the name of the actor's father. Kesh, kabuki makeup, provides an element of style easily recognizable even by those unfamiliar with the art form. Rice powder is used to create the white oshiroi base for the characteristic stage makeup, and kumadori enhances or exaggerates facial lines to produce dramatic animal or supernatural masks. The color of the kumadori is an expression of the character's nature: red lines are used to indicate passion, heroism, righteousness, and other positive traits; blue or black, villainy, jealousy, and other negative traits; green, the supernatural; and purple, nobility.

Play Structure
Kabuki, like other traditional forms of drama in Japan and other cultures, was (and sometimes still is) performed in full-day programs. Rather than attending for 25 hours, as one might do in a modern Western-style theater, audiences "escape" from the day-to-day world, devoting a full day to entertainment. Though some individual plays, particularly the historical jidaimono, might last an entire day, most were shorter and sequenced with other plays in order to produce a full-day program. The structure of the full-day program, like the structure of the plays themselves, was derived largely from the conventions of bunraku and Noh, conventions which also appear in other traditional Japanese arts. Chief among these is the concept of jo-ha-ky which states that dramatic pacing should start slow, speed up, and end quickly. The concept, elaborated on at length by master Noh playwright Zeami, governs not only the actions of the actors, but also the structure of the play as well as the structure of scenes and plays within a day-long program. Nearly every full-length play occupies five acts. The first corresponds to jo, an auspicious and slow opening which introduces the audience to the characters and the plot. The next three acts correspond to ha, speeding events up, culminating almost always in a great moment of drama or tragedy in the third act and possibly a battle in the second and/or fourth acts. The final act, corresponding to kyu, is almost always short, providing a quick and satisfying conclusion. While many plays were originally written for kabuki, many others were taken from jruri plays, Noh plays, folklore, or other performing traditions such as the oral tradition of the Tale of the Heike. While jruri plays tend to have serious, emotionally dramatic, and organized plots, plays written specifically for kabuki generally have looser, sillier plots. One of the crucial differences in the philosophy of the two forms is that jruri focuses primarily on the story and on the chanter who recites it, while kabuki focuses more on the actors. A jruri play may sacrifice the details of sets, puppets, or action in favor of the chanter, while kabuki is known to sacrifice drama and even the plot to highlight an actor's talents. It was not uncommon in kabuki to insert or remove

individual scenes from a day's schedule in order to cater to the talents or desires of an individual actor scenes he was famed for, or that featured him, would be inserted into a program without regard to plot continuity. Kabuki traditions in Edo and in Kamigata (the Kyoto-Osaka region) were quite different. Through most of the Edo period, kabuki in Edo was defined by extravagance and bombast, as exemplified by stark makeup patterns, flashy costumes, fancy keren (stage tricks), and bold mie (poses). Kamigata kabuki, meanwhile, was much calmer and focused on naturalism and realism in acting. Only towards the end of the Edo period in the 19th century did the two regions adopt one another's styles to any significant degree. For a long time, actors from one region often failed to adjust to the styles of the other region and were unsuccessful in their performance tours of that region.

Peking Opera
Peking opera or Beijing opera is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It arose in the late 18th century and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. The form was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China. Major performance troupes are based in Beijing and Tianjin in the north, and Shanghai in the south. The art form is also preserved in Taiwan, where it is known as Guoju. It has also spread to other countries such as the United States and Japan.

Peking opera features four main types of performers. Performing troupes often have several of each variety, as well as numerous secondary and tertiary performers. With their elaborate and colorful costumes, performers are the only focal points on Peking opera's characteristically sparse stage. They utilize the skills of speech, song, dance, and combat in movements that are symbolic and suggestive, rather than realistic. Above all else, the skill of performers is evaluated according to the beauty of their movements. Performers also adhere to a variety of stylistic conventions that help audiences navigate the plot of the production. The layers of meaning within each movement must be expressed in time with music. The music of Peking opera can be divided into the Xipi and Erhuang styles. Melodies include arias, fixed-tune melodies, and percussion patterns. The repertoire of Peking opera includes over 1,400 works, which are based on Chinese history, folklore, and, increasingly, contemporary life. Peking opera was denounced as 'feudalistic' and 'bourgeois' during the Cultural Revolution, and replaced with the eight revolutionary model operas as a means of propaganda and indoctrination. After the Cultural Revolution, these transformations were largely undone. In recent years, Peking opera has attempted numerous reforms in response to sagging audience numbers. These reforms, which include improving performance quality, adapting new performance elements, and performing new and original plays, have met with mixed success.

Female Peking Opera Perfor mer

Male Peking Opera Performer

Wayang Kulit
Wayang kulit, shadow puppets prevalent in Java and Bali in Indonesia, are without a doubt the best known of the Indonesian wayang. Kulit means skin, and refers to the leather construction of the puppets that are carefully chiselled with very fine tools and supported with carefully shaped buffalo horn handles and control rods. The stories are usually drawn from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata or the Serat Menak. There is a family of characters in Javanese wayang called Punakawan; they are sometimes referred to as "clown-servants" because they normally are associated with the story's hero, and provide humorous and philosophical interludes. Semar is the father of Gareng (oldest son), Petruk, and Bagong (youngest son). These characters did not originate in the Hindu epics, but were added later, possibly to introduce mystical aspects of Islam into the Hindu-Javanese stories. They provide something akin to a politicalcabaret, dealing with gossip and contemporary affairs. The puppet figures themselves vary from place to place. In Central Java the city of Surakarta (Solo) and city of Yogyakarta are most famous and the most commonly imitated style of puppets. Regional styles of shadow puppets can also be found in West Java, Banyumas, Cirebon,Semarang, and East Java. Bali produces more compact and naturalistic figures, and Lombok has figures representing real people. Often modern-world objects as bicycles, automobiles, airplanes and ships will be added for comic effect, but for the most part the traditional puppet designs have changed little in the last 300 years. Historically, the performance consisted of shadows cast on a cotton screen and an oil lamp. Today, the source of light used in wayang performance in Java is most often a halogen electric light. Some modern forms of wayang such as Wayang Sandosa created in the Art Academy at Surakarta (STSI) has employed spotlights, colored lights and other innovations. The handwork involved in making a wayang kulit figure that is suitable for a performance takes several weeks, with the artists working together in groups. They start from master models (typically on paper) which are traced out onto kulit (skin

or parchment), providing the figures with an outline and with indications of any holes that will need to be cut (such as for the mouth or eyes). The figures are then smoothed, usually with a glass bottle, and primed. The structure is inspected and eventually the details are worked through. A further smoothing follows before individual painting, which is undertaken by yet another craftsman. Finally, the movable parts (upper arms, lower arms with hands and the associated sticks for manipulation) mounted on the body, which has a central staff by which it is held. A crew makes up to ten figures at a time, typically completing that number over the course of a week. The painting of less expensive puppets is handled expediently with a spray technique, using templates, and with a different person handling each color. Less expensive puppets, often sold to children during performances, are sometimes made on cardboard instead of leather.

Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet) in Wayang Purwa type, depicting five Pandava, from left to right: Bhima, Arjuna, Yudhishtira, Nakula, and Sahadeva, Indonesia Museum, Jakarta.

Wayang kulit as seen from the shadow side

ASIAN Cinema

Asian cinema refers to the film industries and films produced in the continent of Asia, and is also sometimes known as Eastern cinema. More commonly however, it is used to refer to the cinema of Eastern, Southeastern and Southern Asia. West Asian cinema is sometimes classified as part of Middle Eastern cinema rather than Asian cinema, though Iran and Afghanistan are often included. The Cinema of Central Asia is also usually grouped with the Middle East. North Asia is dominated by Siberian Russia, and is thus considered European cinema. East Asian cinema is typified by the cinema of Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, including the Japanese anime industry and action films of Hong Kong. Southeast Asian cinema is typified by the cinema of the Philippines, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. The cinema of Central Asia and the southern Caucasus is typified by Iranian cinema and Tajikistan. West Asian cinema is typified by Turkish cinema and the cinema of Israel. Finally, South Asian cinema is typified by the Cinema of India, which includes Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali industries.

The highest-ranking Asian film in the 1982 Sight & Sound Critics' Poll of all-time greatest films was: Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) The highest-ranking Asian films in the 1992 Sight & Sound Critics' Poll of greatest films were:[1] Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujir Ozu, Japan) Pather Panchali (1955, Satyajit Ray, India) Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Ugetsu (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) The Music Room (1958, Satyajit Ray, India) Charulata (1964, Satyajit Ray, India) Ikiru (1952, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Sansho the Bailiff (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) Yellow Earth (1984, Chen Kaige, China) The Life of Oharu (1952, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) Rashomon (1950, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Aparajito (1956, Satyajit Ray, India) Late Spring (1949, Yasujir Ozu, Japan) 12. The World of Apu (1959, Satyajit Ray, India) The highest-ranking Asian films in the 2002 Sight & Sound Critics' Poll were:[2] Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujir Ozu, Japan) Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Rashomon (1950, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Pather Panchali (1955, Satyajit Ray, India) The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) Ugetsu (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) Sansho the Bailiff (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan)

In a 1998 critics' poll of all-time greatest films conducted by Asian film magazine Cinemaya, the following films were ranked the highest: Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujir Ozu, Japan) Pather Panchali (1955, Satyajit Ray, India) Ugetsu (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) Ikiru (1952, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Where Is the Friend's Home? (1987, Abbas Kiarostami, Iran) The Apu Trilogy (19551959, Satyajit Ray, India) Yellow Earth (1984, Chen Kaige, China) The Time to Live and the Time to Die (1986, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Taiwan) A City of Sadness (1989, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Taiwan) Charulata (1964, Satyajit Ray, India) Floating Clouds (1955, Mikio Naruse, Japan) 11. Mandala (1981, Im Kwon-Taek, South Korea) 11. The Music Room (1958, Satyajit Ray, India) 11. Spring in a Small Town (1948, Fei Mu, China) 11. Subarnarekha (1962/1965, Ritwik Ghatak, India)

In a 2000 audience poll of "Best Asian films" conducted by MovieMail, the highest-ranking films were: Raise the Red Lantern (1991, Zhang Yimou, China) The Apu Trilogy (19551959, Satyajit Ray, India) Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa, Japan) Sansho the Bailiff (1954, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) Tokyo Story (Yasujir Ozu, 1953, Japan) Ugetsu (1953, Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan) In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong) Chungking Express (1994, Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, Ang Lee, China / Hong Kong / Taiwan) Maborosi (1995, Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan) Yellow Earth (1984, Chen Kaige, China)


Theatre (in American English usually theater) is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance. Elements of design and stagecraft are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek (thatron, a place for viewing) and (theomai, to see", "to watch", "to observe). Modern Western theatre derives in large measure from ancient Greek drama, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, and many of its themes, stock characters, and plot elements. Theatre scholar Patrice Pavis defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing, and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts, literature, and the arts in general. Theatre today includes performances of plays and musicals. Although it can be defined broadly to include opera and ballet, those art forms are outside the scope of this article.