Product Description

Performed in 1995, 78 mins. Comes with both Japanese and English commentaries and notes but only Japanese subtitles. Region Code : All, NTSC. Kurozuka is a modern dance drama premiered in 1939. It is considered a masterpiece of 20th century theatre, with innovations in music and movement some inspired it is believed by Russian ballet. The play is based on the legend of a man eating hag of the moors of Adachi ga Hara. Set in the Autumn, the sound of insects fills the air. The silhouette of an old woman, Iwate, appears from a tiny hovel. The opening words describe the woman endlessly spinning a reel of thread, waiting in vain for someone's return. Travelling priests enter, searching for shelter and see the light in her room. The head priest, Ajari Yukei notices her spinning reel and asks for a demonstration. She demonstrates and sings a sad song. She tells them her life story, that her father was banished to this lonely place. Her lover returned to the city leaving her feeling only hatred and hurt. Yukei assures her she will be forgiven. She goes to collect firewood and warns them not to look inside her room. The porter, Tarago, however, looks inside her room and seeing bones and limbs realizes she is the demon of Adachi ga Hara. The classic dance scene follows, accompanied unusually for kabuki, by the koto. Iwate feels hope and sings joyfully, then bumps into Tarago and from his demeanour realizes he has betrayed her. She flies into a bitter rage and changes into a demon. For the final scene we see a large mound of earth, the demon's lair. The priests come in search of the demon. A battle ensues, with Iwate sapped of her strength, unlike traditional kabuki demons who are not usually seen to be weakened. Instead the audience witness the psychological struggle inside Iwate's mind.