By Katherine Mezur
This ebook is a feminist analyzing of the background of gender functionality and building of the feminine function gamers, onnagata, of the Kabuki theater. it's not constrained to a "theater arts" concentration, particularly it's a mapping and shut research of transformative genders via numerous old classes in Japan (the 17th during the 20th centuries). particularly, the paintings specializes in undoing of binary genders, the sensual ambiguity of boy-ness, adolescence, and female-likeness and the cultural improvement of the aesthetics of eroticism, nostalgia, and cruelty established in female-like transformative gender acts. The paintings is usually a visible cultures learn because it attracts not just on literary assets but in addition prints, photos, movie, and video documentation.
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Additional resources for Beautiful Boys Outlaw Bodies: Devising Kabuki Female-Likeness
To approach the onnagata is to draw near the secrets of existence, embodied in human form through the art of the kabuki actor. 25 Like Pronko, I am also deeply impressed by the art of the onnagata. ” Rather, onnagata perform stylized gender roles that engender their own fictions of the feminine and femininity, and their fictions stir the conscious and the unconscious with their ambiguity of gender. ” Pronko also takes up the point that I mentioned, that women could not play onnagata roles because they would be imitating the acts of men.
Pronko profoundly argues for this integration as he claims: Art, and surely the art of the theatre, is a physical phenomenon that should produce a physical sensation in addition to the usual emotional or intellectual reactions we seem to consider normal. 21 He also describes how the kabuki performer plays between his own body and his character’s body to create something that theatrically transcends the idea of the actor becoming the role. ”22 He cites examples of how the kabuki actor and his role are frequently experienced separately in performance.
40 He explains that the onnagata’s gender acts are just one aspect of kabuki’s dominant aesthetics, which include such things as delight in the odd and irrational; emphasis of the symbol over the direct representation; stylization, which arises from a combination of dance and eroticism, to name a few that apply to onnagata gender act patterns. 42 As noted earlier, James Brandon and Leonard Pronko are known for their extensive kabuki research, publications, lectures, and performances. Their scholarship reflects their personal involvement in the stage practice of kabuki performance.