Art & Design

Getting to Noh – from page to Stage ‘Between the Stones – Phase 1’

18 & 19 August 2018, Durham & Nothumberland

Getting to Noh from ‘Page to Stage’
‘Between the Stones’ (Phase 1)

What is noh? And how is a new noh in traditional style conceived from 'page to stage'?

Noh’ is classical Japanese masked theatre which combines elements of dance, drama, music and poetic text into a highly aesthetic form of art that has been performed continuously for 650 years. In contrast to its minimalist stage, noh uses elaborate costumes and exquisitely carved wooden masks such as those recently acquired at the Oriental Museum from master maskmaker Hideta Kitazawa.

This ‘What is noh?’ illustrated talk is designed to introduce audiences to the key elements of noh. It will be followed by a reading of a new noh, which is being prepared for performance, to give a close up and interactive experience of how a new noh is developed ‘from page to stage’.

David Hughes will begin the introduction to noh and will also engage the audience in experiencing some of the musical qualities of noh, together with Gina Barnes. Jannette Cheong, author of ‘Between the Stones’, a new two-act English language noh drama, will share her experience of noh, how she has worked with Japanese noh artists, including Hideta Kitazawa, and introduce the new project and how a new noh is developed from the poetic text in preparation for a stage production. Finally, Jannette, David, Gina and Henrietta Heald will, together, undertake a reading of the new noh play ‘Between the Stones’.

This new noh brings together three iconic Japanese cultural forms (noh, including masks carved by Hideta Kitazawa, karesansui gardens and furin wind chimes). The piece explores how the burden of grief turns into an understanding and celebration of life and death, friendship, beauty and love; as well as the transformative power of gardens to nurture and heal the soul…

Between the Stones’ is the third noh performing arts collaboration between Jannette Cheong and composer Richard Emmert, which began with the acclaimed success of Pagoda (European Tour - London, Dublin, Oxford, Paris 2009, Asia Tour- Tokyo, Kyoto, Beijing, Hong Kong 2011) and Opposites-InVerse (London 2017). Richard Emmert is a professor of Asian performance at Musashino University inTokyo. He has studied, taught and performed classical noh drama in Japan since 1973 and is a certified Kita school noh instructor.

At the end of the event there will be an opportunity for questions and answers.



Admission Free

18 & 19 August 2018

18 August 2018: Japan Gallery, Oriental Museum, Durham University, Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill, Durham, DH1 3TH

19 August 2018: Cragside, Rothbury NE65 7PX


Between the Stones Project Team