Summer 1928: Ichikawa Sadanji II organizes the first tour of a Kabuki troupe outside Japan.
The destination is the USSR and the troupe performs in Moscow and Leningrad. The programs includes "Kanadehon Chűshingura", "Narukami", "Toribeyama Shinjű",
"Shuzenji Monogatari", "Banch˘ Sarayashiki", "Musume D˘j˘ji"
and some shosagoto like "Ayatsuri Sambas˘", "Hanami Odori" or "Sagi Musume".
Beside Ichikawa Sadanji II, the troupe includes the actors Ichikawa Sh˘ch˘ II, Kawarazaki Ch˘jűr˘ IV,
Ichikawa Danko II, Ichikawa Ensh˘ III, Ichikawa Arajir˘ II and Ichikawa Sakon. The troupe has the opportunity to meet Sergei Eisenstein (it is said that the influence of Kabuki can be felt in the movie "Ivan the Terrible"),
Vsevolod Meyerhold and Konstantin Stanislavsky. This first Kabuki tour abroad is a huge success but, once back in Japan, Ichikawa Sadanji II has to endure the attacks of the nationalist circles, which accuse him of being in the pay of the Bolshevists.
October 1965: first Kabuki tour in Western Europe, in
West Berlin at the Der Freien VolksbŘhne (2~8 october), in Paris at the ThÚÔtre de l'OdÚon (15~24 october) and in Lisbonne
at the Teatro SŃo Luis (29~31 october). Here are the plays and the casting:
May ~ June 2001: Chikamatsuza tour in the UK,
as part of the series of events called Japan 2001; Nakamura Ganjir˘ III and his two sons (Nakamura Kanjaku V/Nakamura Senjaku III)
perform in London at the Sadler's Wells (May 30~June 9) and in Salford at the Lowry (June 13~16). The program is made up of "Tsuri Onna" and "Sonezaki Shinjű".
October 2004: special Kabuki program in Paris at the ThÚÔtre de Chaillot (9~22 october),
which celebrates the shűmei of Ichikawa Ebiz˘ XI and the recovery of his father Ichikawa Danjűr˘, who is back on stage after several months on sick leave.
This is the second time in Kabuki history that a shűmei is staged abroad (the first time was in Summer 1985 for Ichikawa Danjűr˘).
Here are the program, which includes a k˘j˘ (half in French, half in Japanese ... the prize for the best French accent would be easily given to Onoe Kikunosuke), and the casting:
May ~ June 2006: Kabuki tour in Western Europe, in
London at the Sadler's Wells (31 May~11 June) and in Amsterdam
at the Stadsschouwburg (15~18 June). Here are the plays and the casting:
March 2007: special Kabuki program in Paris at the Palais Garnier (23~30 March).
It is dedicated to the traditions and art of the Ichikawa clan and includes a k˘j˘,
with most of the talking done ... in French (Ichikawa Kamejir˘ being the most fluent and talkative actor).
The dance-dramas "Kanjinch˘" (from the Kabuki Jűhachiban)
and "Momijigari" (from the Shin Kabuki Jűhachiban)
are staged with the following casting:
"Famous Kabuki actors Ichikawa Danjűr˘, Ichikawa Ebiz˘ and other performers were given a warm
reception at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris on Friday as they launched a five-day show of
Kabuki in the French capital. The troupe performed the play "Kanjinch˘", and the audience applauded
as they watched the bold gestures and stage exit of the character Benkei, while shouts of "Naritaya!"
the name of the guild of actors to which Ichikawa Danjűr˘ and Ichikawa Ebiz˘ belong,
rang out in the hall decorated with paintings by French artist Marc Chagall.
It was the first time that a Kabuki performance had been given at the opera house.
Officials at the opera house reportedly brought up the idea of a performance when a
separate performance was given at the Chaillot palace theater in the autumn of 2004
to mark the naming of Ichikawa Ebiz˘. During the performance, subtitles were displayed in French
on an electronic screen above the stage, and a special platform was placed on the stage for
the actors. In the stage greeting, Ichikawa Danjűr˘ and eight other actors introduced themselves
in French, earning them applause from the audience. Ichikawa Danjűr˘ also glared at the audience
in a performance accompanied with the explanation in French that people who were glared at wouldn't
catch a cold for a year. "Their clothes and gestures were beautiful, evoking the world of Ukiyoe,"
said one 60-year-old university professor who attended the performance.
He added that the scene in "Kanjinch˘" of a
servant beating his master would never occur in the West and said this made the performance
interesting." (Mainichi Shimbun, the 24th of March 2007)
May~June 2008: first Heisei Nakamuraza tour in Europe, in Berlin at the The House of World Cultures (Germany) from the 14th to the 21st of May 2008
and in Sibiu (Rumania) from the 29th of May to the 1st of June 2008 for the International Theatre Festival.
Nakamura Kanzabur˘ produces "Natsu Matsuri Naniwa Kagami" with the following casting:
September 2008: "Kabuki for Everyone" tour in Russia; the troupe is led by Ichimura Manjir˘,
who gives lectures about the art of Kabuki or performs the dance "Fuji Musume":
March 2009: Kabuki adaptation by the famous stage director Ninagawa Yukio of Shakespeareĺs "Twelfth Night", which is entitled "Ninagawa Jűniya",
from the 24th to the 28th of March 2009 in London (UK) at the Barbican Theater; it is staged with the following casting [more details about the play]:
September 2009: short Kabuki tour in Monaco for the Naritaya guild; they perform
from the 16th to the 19th of September at the Salle Garnier of the OpÚra de Monte-Carlo one dance-drama belonging to the Shin Kabuki Jűhachiban ("Kagami Jishi")
and one great classic belonging to the Kabuki Jűhachiban ("Narukami"):
I would like to thank Trevor Skingle for his support and generosity, which help me a lot gathering data about the tour in Monaco!
June 2010: Kabuki tour in Western Europe, in London at the Sadler's Wells (4~15 June) and in Roma
at the Teatro di Roma-Argentina (21~22 June). The "Torii Mae", "Yoshinoyama" and
"Kawatsura H˘gen Yakata" scenes of the classic "Yoshitsune Sembon Zakura"
are staged with the following casting: