Monday 29th February 2016
Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort hosts a dazzling array of cultural demonstration brought to Fujairah by the Japan Initiative for Industrial, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation with Fujairah (JIISCCF) under the patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Saif Al Sharqi.
This is was an exclusive opportunity to experience first-hand the amazing talent of the Japanese Theatre organized by Global Logistics, which was attended by H.H. Sheikha Sarah Hamad Al Sharqi, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Saif Al Sharqi, the Japanese Ambassador to the U.A.E. Kanji Fujiki, the Japanese General Consul in Dubai, Mr. Hisashi Michigami, local dignaitries and large number Japanese community members.
The very first performance of Kabuki theatre in the region was held as part of the Japanese Theatre Festival this February, marking a new cultural exchange initiative by JIISCCF.
The show was held as part of a string of performances run under the title of Grand Japan Theatre; starting in Tokyo and Osaka, then onto Fujairah and then Carnegie Hall in New York.
The event was hosted on February 13th at Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort in their outdoor ampitheatre. Attendees were given a performance of theatre led by Ebizo Ichikawa XI and other renowned Kabuki performers. In addition to the theatrical performances, there were cooking demonstrations, tastings and musical performances.
39-year-old actor Ichikawa, a scion of one of Japan’s most revered Kabuki families, is a national heart-throb in Japan and his good looks and acting style have helped revive interest in Kabuki, especially among younger people, and helped him secured a fanbase overseas. The actor was made a member of L’Ordre de Arts et des Lettres in 2007 after wowing audiences in Europe, Australia and the US.
An authentic Japanese dinner menu was specially composed by Japanese chefs- hospitality was provided by Maiko from Kyoto (Maiko are apprentice geisha, female artists who spend years mastering traditional Japanese arts such as kyomai dancing, tea ceremony, flower arrangement and playing the koto (traditional string instrument) before becoming fully fledged geisha.).
The initiative (JIISCCF) was brought about not only to introduce elements of traditional Japanese culture to the Middle East, but also to strengthen cultural and economic ties between the two regions, and create a foundation on which to further interest and insight into Japanese culture.
Kabuki is a Japanese art theme that dates back to the early 15th century; it is characterized by elaborate costumes and make-up along with stylizations of drama through dance. Many regard it as avant-garde in its demonstration.
The stories, performed by all-male actors dressed in elaborate costumes and colourful makeup “masks”, deal with samurai rivalry, love, suicide and more pedestrian accounts of city life.
Also in the program of events was a Noh performance, another high-level form of dramatic performance that has been performed since the 14th century. Traditionally Noh performers come from an unbroken lineage of performers, some going as far back at 600 years. It is one of the rare stage arts passed down from parent to child. UNESCO named noh-gaku as one of the ‘intangible cultural heritages of humanity’.
Kanji Fujiki, Japan’s Ambassador to the UAE expressed his gratitude to the Government of Fujairah for the cultural exchange that would consolidate the cultural relations between the two countries. He also extended thanks to Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Saif Al Sharqi for sponsoring the event and to all the its organizers.
Ashraf Helmy, General Manager of Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort stated how much he had enjoyed the performances and sincerely hoped to host more events associated with the initiative.