Event Calendar Listing

Friday, July 7
8:15 p.m.
Wright Memorial Theatre

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.- Japanese rakugo and kamikiri performers will visit Middlebury College’s Japanese School from July 4-9. They will offer Japanese School students a two-day workshop and give a free public performance on Friday, July 7, at 8:15 pm in Wright Memorial Theatre, located on Château Road off College Street (Route 125).

Rakugo is a traditional comedic storytelling performance in which a performer sits on a small cushion on stage and tells a story that may involve several characters. He may stand up on his knees but never on his feet. His only props are a sensu (fan) and a tenugui (towel). The lead rakugo player, Yanagiya Sankyo, is one of the best in Japan. His apprentice, Ryutei Saryuu, will also perform.

Kamikiri is a spontaneous performance in which the player receives a request from the audience (e.g., the Statue of Liberty) and then cuts the image out of a plain piece of paper without drawing any outline. The process lasts only a few minutes, and the performer asks for another request. The performer, Hayashiya Niraku, is one of handful professional kamikiri performers in Japan.

Both art forms are unique to Japan.

For more information contact Kazumi Hatasa, director of the Japanese School at khatasa@purdue.edu or (802) 443-4406.