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<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>

 

 

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Thursday
Jun212012

#NerdsUnite: Around the world with @HeatherReusz

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Heather. She's a nerd who is currently living in Japan by way of Chicago. Yep, talk about a culture shock. She's here today to talk about her life, love (which she is currently balancing long distance) and all things nerd. I only have one more thing left to say ... HIT IT HEATHER!!!</editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @HeatherReusz

My friend and I had a “classy” weekend. We went together to see three different types of traditional Japanese theater: kabuki, kyogen, and noh. Seeing these forms of theater was pretty high on my Japan bucket list. My favorite class that I ever took in college was a course on traditional Asian theater. I’ve been hooked ever since.

First on the agenda was Kabuki. This is probably the theater form that most people know. It’s the one where the guys paint their faces all white with accents and lines of red or blue. It’s totally uniquely Japanese. It was started around the Edo period as entertainment for the “common” people. It’s very fast paced and action packed compared to something like noh. The sets are dramatic and colorful to match the costumes and make-up. The show that we saw was not that action packed. It was about a monk who was banished to an island for plotting to overthrow the head warlord of Japan. He is on an island with two others who have been exiled. A pardon is sent for only his two friends and not the head monk, Shunkan. He must cope with the loss of his friends and the reality of his life. It wasn’t as action packed or stereotypical as I was assuming the experience would be. I truly enjoyed it and thought it was beautiful. Maybe because the theme of separation from friends and family is so close to my heart now as I gear up to leave. It totally tugged at my heart strings.

One small aspect of kabuki that I had forgotten about that startled me once we were there was the audience. In kabuki it is encouraged for the audience to yell out praises, encouragements, and criticisms. At the climax and other important moments, the balcony was booming with voices. It was actually very cool. I found it distracting at first but once I was accustomed to it, I wished I knew what and when to shout to join in.

We spent the next day seeing noh and kyogen which has a much different feel from kabuki. They are much slower although just as symbolic and purposeful as kabuki. Noh was made for a more upper class and spiritual audience. The movements are very deliberate and meant to strike up meditation. Kyogen, while done in the same style, is a comedy whereas noh is a drama. In both of these art forms, the actors wear masks so the movements of the body are vital to expression. I was just as captivated by the noh and kyogen pieces as I was by the kabuki. I loved the sense of peace that the noh play emitted. I can understand how some people used to say that the plays could help bring you to enlightenment. I was also fairly surprised to find how humorous the kyogen was. A friend of mine had warned me that it was awful and not funny at all. The play we saw was very cute and funny! It was a short play about a monk who was in training. He hadn’t eaten in a couple of days so he climbs up an orange tree to steal some oranges. The farmer catches him and plays jokes on him. Hilarity ensues. The whole audience was cracking up.

All in all, I had an absolutely wonderful weekend. My inner theater nerd/junkie was highly satisfied.

#nerdsunite

click here to follow Heather on Twitter!

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