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The magnum opus creation of Kabuki play is performed by Tamasaburo entailing beautiful story of heron who faces cruelties of the world. Tamasaburo, a Kabuki actor, plays the role of onnagata (women's roles), who actually born as heron, then evolve into a human being and fell in love. Afterward, her love is betrayed and she is sent to hell so the bitterness continued to the next world.
The dance is characterized by rapidity in rhythm and patterns in images and thoughts to incorporate situations several tempi to show darkness and sadness in the life of heron. The cinematic techniques in creating harmony among set design elements like dim lights depicting hazy night, use of long and wide-sleeved kimono presenting flapping winged heron, use of parasol have made the performance a masterpiece.
The slow movements of Tamasaburo (female impersonator) besides frozen lake embodies a beautiful woman who appears to be dressed in white kimono showing the spirit of the white heron. Her heart is filled with longing and she stands obscured and downhearted in the snow. Even after her tears are dried but still, her sleeves remained drenched (Tamasaburo, 2019). The drums sounded as flapping wings, represented by long and wide sleeves of white kimono, to shake off the snow. At this moment, the stage assistant helped the actor to take off his hood and again clutching movements of sleeves were seen which showed deep bitterness. The scene tells the bitter hatred remembered by white heron showing the feelings of a broken heart. Therefore, in this life, the lasting attachment to this existence, of white heron who was perhaps a girl, pushed her to reborn. Here again, the stage assistant comes and changes the kimoki costume by untying threads on the top layer of clothes. So now, impersonator wears a bright colored dress which is in complete contrast to a heron. The role type is known as Sagi Musume and bright colored dress shows charms of the young maiden. This part of the dance is called kudoki characterizing un-imaginary man whom the young woman wants to win over.
Tamasaburo "Sagi Musume" 坂東玉三郎 「鷺娘」 - beginning section. (2019). YouTube. Retrieved 4 April 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q1MPwD7zCI&feature=youtu.be
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