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Japanese lyrical drama

  • The Pablo Ruiz Picasso Cultural Centre in Torremolinos will host 'Las Máscaras del Teatro Noh, a demonstration of Japanese lyrical drama', on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 November

The Pablo Ruiz Picasso Cultural Centre in Torremolinos will host 'Las Máscaras del Teatro Noh, a demonstration of Japanese lyrical drama', on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 November.

A series of specialised seminars on the classical Noh masks has been organised by the cultural association, Hi No Hikari, with the collaboration of the Torremolinos town hall. The focus of the conference will be an exhibition of ancient Japanese masks and will feature three of the most representative of Noh; imitation, mystery and flowers.

José Vergara, a specialist in Japanese lyrical drama, will open the exhibition with a lecture and a guided tour of the exhibition, explaining the history of each of the masks. On Saturday at midday, he will present the Yugen, an important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics and one of the major values of Japanese art of the Middle Ages.

Noh is an art form that utilises masks and there is a great variety of them. There were originally about 60 basic types of masks, but today there are well over 200 different kinds in use.

Covering the face with a mask is much like wearing makeup, however, performers feel that the Noh mask has a certain power which makes it much more spiritual than simple makeup used to change ones appearance.

Exactly when the Noh mask came into being is not entirely clear, however it is believed that masks were developed from the mid to latter part of the Muromachi period (1338-1573). Previous to that time, the mask conventions were not entirely set and masks had stronger religious connotations.

It is believed that performers felt they needed to hide the unattractive aspects of their own faces and concentrate on making the beauty of Noh stronger.

The inauguration of 'Las Máscaras del Teatro Noh' will take place at 8pm on Friday 24 November. The event is free, although space is limited, so early arrival is advised.