Press Release

[15-05] Ms Ryoko AOKI, Noh performer, to visit Ireland as a Japan Cultural Envoy

Ms Ryoko AOKI, renowned Noh performer, is to visit Ireland as a Japan Cultural Envoy to give a talk at Trinity College Dublin, and to perform her classic and contemporary Noh theatre in Sligo and Waterford in June.
 
Noh is a Japanese traditional theatre and one of the oldest extant theatrical forms in the world. It is a form of drama in which dance and music play an important role. The story is told not just through dialogue, but also through utai (singing), hayashi (musical accompaniment), and dance. It's like a musical, which Kan’ami and Zeami, father and son, created in the fourteenth century.
 
Ms AOKI obtained a BA and a Master of Music from the Faculty of Music at the Tokyo University of the Arts with coursework in Japanese Noh theatre (Kanze school). She obtained a PhD at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies for her thesis "Women and Noh". She has performed several traditional Noh plays, and has also challenged collaborations with contemporary composers as a Noh singer (http://ryokoaoki.net/e/biography.html).
 
Ms AOKI is coming to celebrate Yeats2015 in Sligo because Yeats is known to have been influenced by Noh theatre when he wrote his play “At the Hawk’s Well”. Ms AOKI will also celebrate the opening of the “Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Gardens” on Lafcadio Hearn’s birthday. These gardens are expected to enhance Japan-Ireland cultural relations by encouraging Irish people to have a better understanding of Japanese literature and culture through a renewed interest in Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904). Also known by his Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo, he is the most famous Irish person in Japan and is celebrated for his collections of Japanese legends. The contemporary part of Ms Aoki’s performance will be accompanied by renowned flutist, Susan Doyle of the Crash Ensemble in Ireland.
 
The event schedule is as follows:
 
19.00, 23 June (Tue): The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin
Lecture: "Noh from the past to the present - Noh and Contemporary Music -"
 
19.30, 25 June (Thu): The Factory Performance Space, Sligo
1. Lecture: "Noh from the past to the present - Noh and Contemporary Music -"
2. Performance:
- A part of Classical Noh play with tape
- Federico Gardella "Voice of Wind" for Noh voice and bass flute (2012)
- Valerio Sannicandro "Trois chants Noh" for Noh voice and flutes (2011)
 
20.00, 27 June (Sat): Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford
1. Lecture: "Noh from the past to the present - Noh and Contemporary Music -"
2. Performance:
- A part of Classical Noh play with tape
- Federico Gardella "Voice of Wind" for Noh voice and bass flute (2012)
- Valerio Sannicandro "Trois chants Noh" for Noh voice and flutes (2011)
 
Mr. Chihiro Atsumi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland said, “It is a great pleasure to invite Ms Ryoko Aoki to Ireland to promote Japanese culture to Irish people. Ms Aoki celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats in Sligo and the opening of the “Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Gardens” in Waterford with her classic and contemporary Noh performances”, and continued, “Our two countries not only have close political and economic ties, but also strong cultural links. Through the success of the event, I look forward to the friendship between our countries growing even closer in the future”.
 
Senator Susan O’Keeffe, Chair, Yeats2015 said “We are delighted to welcome Ms Aoki to Sligo in this special year of Yeats celebrations. Yeats was fascinated by Noh theatre and this is a chance to experience classical Noh theatre in the heart of Sligo at the Factory Performance Space”.
 
Ms. Agnes Aylward, Director of Tramore Development Trust, said, “The visit of Ms Aoki to the Waterford area, facilitated by the Japanese Embassy here, is most welcome. She is renowned as one of the finest living exponents of the Japanese folk arts, so ably chronicled for Western readers by Lafcadio Hearn, a great scholar of his time and the product of an Irish boyhood much of which was spent in Tramore”, and continued, “The visit by Ms Aoki is also brilliantly timed as it will coincide with the formal opening of the new gardens in Tramore devoted to Hearn's memory”.
 
This event is co-organised by the Embassy of Japan, the Japan Foundation, and the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
  
(Contact)
Press and Cultural Affairs Section, Embassy of Japan in Ireland
Tel: 01 - 202 8305, E-mail: cultural@ir.mofa.go.jp, Website: www.ie.emb-japan.go.jp/

Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, Sligo
Tel: 071- 917 0431, Website: http://www.blueraincoat.com/

Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford
Tel: 051 855 038, E-mail: admin@garterlane.ie, Website: http://www.garterlane.ie/ 


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