|Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 1997,
Hanagumi Shibai continues to polish its renegade theatrical vision with exciting productions fusing classical kabuki with the most modern forms.
In the original spirit of populist kabuki,
Hanagumi Shibai has created a unique Fusion genre of unlimited possibility in its inspired improvisations combining old and new from East and West.
Its founder,actor/manager Yukikazu Kano,launched the company in 1987, convinced by his kabuki training that indigenous Japanese theatre forms could expand to embrace the new and different while still maintaining their unique integrity. He calls his creation gNouveau-Kabuki.h
His original Nouveau-Kabuki version of Shakespeare's Tempest played to rave reviews in Los Angeles and Seattle in 1996, electrifying U.S. audiences with its dynamic kabukiesque stage magic.
At home, Hanagumi Shibai enjoys wide appeal. Audiences keep coming --from theatre professionals to adolescents-- up to 10,000 for one run alone.
Tours around Japan as well as regular Tokyo shows cover the spectrum from rollicking comedies to erotic tragedies to dance.
These original productions clothe ancient stories in trendy art and stagecraft, deconstruct well-known legends through modern dance and music, and generally explode the expanted with the sudden presence of the unimagined. Hanagumi Shibai faces its future with increasing energy and vision, having proven with Nouveau-Kabuki that the East is not inscrutable, nor are the classics dead.