|Dance title||Yoi Yakko|
Tsuruzawa Dôhachi (music)
The dance-drama "Yoi Yakko" was premiered in April 1941 at the Tôkyô Gekijô. The role of the yakko Bekunai was danced by Ichikawa Ennosuke II, later called Ichikawa En'ô I, and the dance was later included in the En'ô Jûshu, a collection of ten dances representing the best of En'ô's art.
Along the balks of the Ôkawa River comes a drunken yakko (a servant in the service of a feudal lord) named Bekunai. He is in excellent spirits and begins boasting of his hometown, Sendai, in the manner of that city's puppet theater narrators. He recounts the tale of Tanikaze, a mighty sumô wrestler from the same Date clan, who with his sheer strength subdued a fight that had broken out between a red and a black bull.
He also amusingly reenacts the inebriated antics and idiosyncrasies of his drinking buddies, Heiji and Yaheita, just laughing out loud uncontrollably, then getting worked up in a fit of rage, and finally bursting out in tears.
Bekunai even shows off his acrobatic skills, virtually tap dancing on stilts to the shamisen and narrative accompaniment. As the shamisen player walks on, Bekunai is left alone, and his spirited monologue eventually winds down as he falls into a dreamy slumber.
Source: Kabukiza December 1999 program
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