International Symposium Nô Theatre Transversal:

Crossing Borders between Genres, Cultures and Identities


Symposium date: 2– 4 March 2006

Venue: University of Trier, Germany

Organization: Stanca Scholz-Cionca (Japanese Studies, Trier)

Christopher Balme (Theatre Studies, Amsterdam)

Barbara Geilhorn (Japanese Studies, Trier)

Eike Grossmann (Japanese Studies, Trier)

Tanja Zugschwerdt (Theatre Studies, Mainz)

Connected with a transdisciplinary research project conducted by the Department of Japanese Studies in Trier and the Department of Theatre Studies in Mainz (2003-2006) on „New Identities for the Japanese Nô Theatre in a Globalized World“, the symposium reiterates several of its leading topics: the relevance of this traditional performance in an age of post-dramatic theatre and open stage practice; the significance of Nô in transcultural theatre dialogue; Nô techniques as experimental field, in Japan and abroad; Nô as a repository of cultural memories, political agencies and identities; the tensions between the closed, classic form and border-crossing performances etc. 

One central aim is to enhance dialogue between scholars (from various disciplines and several countries) and stage practitioners (actors, stage directors).


Symposium Programme


Thursday, March 2nd

Opening of the Symposium. Welcome addresses:

Prof. Dr. Schwenkmezger, President of Trier University

Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme, Theatre Studies, Amsterdam

Prof. Dr. Stanca Scholz-Cionca, Japanese Studies, Trier

Panel 1: The Actor´s body and voice. Acting pedagogy East and West 

Reiko Yamanaka: What kind of features distinguish Nô from other performing arts?          

Tanja Zugschwerdt: Nô as Experimental Field – Theatre Nohgaku /USA           

Libby Zilber: Yûgen for Western audiences

Shelley Fenno Quinn: The anxiety of performance: Kanze Hisao and his art

Barbara Geilhorn: Between Self-Empowerment and Discrimination – Women in Nô today  (with live demonstration by Uzawa Hisa)

Kasai Ken´ichi: Modern Nô (shinsaku) as a motor of renewal: The work of „Mei no kai“ and the staging of „Shiranui“ (+ video; in Japanese)

Dialogue with Umewaka Rokuro: Performing modern Nô: the actor´s perspective (with live demonstration)

Friday, March 3rd

Panel 2: Nô as/and contemporary theatre forms

Helen Parker: Crossing borders in the presentation of Nô through multimedia

Okamoto Akira: The actor´s body in Noh and contemporary theatre (in Japanese)

Oda Sachiko: Features of Modern Noh: Staging shinsaku-nô (in Japanese)

Peter Eckersall: Recent experiments with contemporary Nô: Why and what is an Australian avant-garde Nô performance?          

Axel Tangerding: Experimenting with Nô on German stages (with live demonstration)

Panel 3: Nô as/and music

Takemoto Mikio: On the principle of jo-ha-kyû in contemporary stagings

Juliane Weigel: Aya no tsuzumi / Silkkirumpu: A Finnish opera and its Japanese original. Comparison of dramatic and musical means.

Christopher Balme: ´Too close for comfort´: Benjamin Britten´s Curlew River and the reception of Nô after 1945

Hans-Peter Bayerdörfer: Between poetry and ´tragédie lyrique´: Nô and the boundaries of genre

Evening Programme:

„Stimmen und Gesten des Nô“ (Umewaka Rokurô and Uzawa Hisa; Introduction: Stanca Scholz-Cionca)


Saturday, March 4th: 

Panel 4: Nô and modern society: ideologies, political inscription

Nicola Savarese: Some questions about Nô and theatre anthropology

Eike Grossmann: Community life in Kurokawa and the ritual Nô performances

Richard and Mae Smethurst: „Chûrei“ and „Miikusabune“: Two modern Nô dramas on World War II

Round table discussion