Saddayakko, was a enterprising figure in Japanese theatre. She travelled the Paris, Italy and America and brought the arts of Japanese theatre and Gei to an Orientally thirsty Paris. Japonisme was big in fin-de-siecle Paris, artists including Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Manet were seeking inspiration from Ukiyo-e woodcuts and kimono prints that were refreshing and modern to the European eye. Naturally they were captivated by Sadayakko’s traditional Japanese performances. It was at this time that Giaccamo Puccini travelled to Milan to see her perform and shape the character of Madame Butterfly accordingly. Symbolist poet Jean Lorrain described Sadayakko as “a kind of hallucination caused by opium from the Far East. She is as elegant and gentle as Utamaro’s ukiyoe.”
The main reason I included a post about Sadayakko is this photograph of her as Ophelia that immediately inspired me to alter my Ariel puppet. I decided to give it thick, wild hair and also to resculpt the eyes as heavy down-cast eyelids.
Below Sadayakko impresses the Parisians in 1900, with her on-stage costume changes!
A couple more pics from Ninagawa’s Medea. Such a phenomenal piece of theatre! I love the melodrama and the tragedy. The costumes and stage effect are all breathtaking too. If you know the story, then you know the fate of her two children above…
I’ve done the animatic, it came to exactly 1 minute, but there are some bits that are unclear. Especially the transformation and the moving parts of the set. I’m really looking forward to some feedback on Monday. I have developed the character design of Ariel quite a bit since doing the drawings for the storyboard. I feel that now I’ve done this, if I began the storyboard all over again it would be much better! I tried to show the costume change in a different way, but actually I think my original idea will work much better. I intended to have the costume “miraculously” transform on the stage, showing Ariel crouching down and then the outer costume pulls off in a flash of lightning! much more like the costume change in Sagi Musume.
This is Prospero striking a Mie Kabuki pose. This won’t happen in my animation as I have made him a musician rather than an actor, but I explored the possibility in a few drawings, It helped me to get to know him a bit better.
When I did these drawings I was watching Bando Tamasaburo’s dance in Wisteria Maiden. It was really helpful to try and capture Kabuki style movements for Ariel’s dance in my storyboard. The backwards bend is characteristic of Kabuki. You can see the kimono sleeves are becoming wings at the bottom.
I’m reworking some parts in the middle before I begin the animatic later today. I’m really looking forward to getting some feedback on Monday, I think it will be really helpful at this point. I’ve chosen a three pieces of music I’d like to try on the animatic, to see which works best.
This is a video piece I made with my sister Romy some years ago, but it’s relevant to this project. I was looking back at it for a close look at some details on the Geisha’s kimonos and the ornament they wear in their hair.
A theatrical and stylised film by Seijun Suzuki. The sets resemble those in Kabuki, with consciously artificial looking sets and props. Some of the sets (shown in this boat scene) are superimposed traditional paintings, like Kawamoto’s animations!