July 27 – August 1, 2015
ZEN & THE ART OF PERFORMANCE
with Jubilith Moore
Founding Member of Theatre Nohgaku
How can I make the ordinary task of living extraordinary? How can I give life meaning and achieve balance? At some point everyone question’s their life’s balance and craves meaning. Any practice, even that of performance, can have a spiritual dimension and become a life-practice.
We’ve all heard a measure of powerful Zen expressions: “be in the moment;” or “the way a person does one thing is the way they do everything;” or, how about, ”If you walk, just walk. If you sit, just sit; but whatever you do don’t wobble!” The study of Zen is a way to a goal, it is not the goal itself. The same can be said for performance.
Workshop participants will experience the time-tested, universally relevant and powerful foundational theatrical principles of Nohgaku through singing (utai and uta), dancing (shimai and komai), ‘putting on’ Kyogen’s stock characters (master, servant, mountain priest and woman) and playing in a deep, articulated, sacred theatrical space. Experience the meticulous body articulation, concentration and focus a traditional Noh and Kyogen song and dance demand. Discover the intimate relationship between vocal intuition and physical musicality, while serving the text and revealing character. Explore Nohgaku’s traditional stage patterns and compositional guidelines.
Japan’s traditional performing arts of Noh and Kyogen developed together in the 14th century. Today, they are thought of as the art of Nogaku. Noh is a highly refined, richly symbolic and beautifully stylized masked dance-drama written in lyric poetry. It is tragic theater, deeply philosophical and concerned with man’s spiritual beliefs and moral codes. With satirical humor, Kyogen addresses such worldly concerns as greed, vanity and the pleasures of outwitting someone. These short comedies are cast with stock characters of servants and masters, wives and husbands, and feuding Buddhist priests. Choreographed movements complement the stylized vocal techniques.
This workshop is ideal for the inter-culturally curious; For those interested in expanding their theatrical lexicon and who think of performing as a life-practice; and for performers / directors / choreographers / educators seeking a new old paradigm for looking at what they do.
About Jubilith Moore
A graduate of Bard College, Jubilith Moore is a performer, director,writer, teaching artistand producer for the theatre who has devoted her professional life to exploring the ongoing life of traditional Japanese and contemporary American theatre. She has studied Noh with Richard Emmert, Akira Matsui, Shiro Nomura and Kinue Oshima and Kyogen with Yukio Ishida and Yuriko Doi. She is a Founding Company Member of Theatre Nohgaku and from 2001 – 2014 was Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen. She is the recipient of a Japan Foundation Fellowship, TBA’s CA$H award as well as TCG’s Future Collaborations and Leadership University grants.
Jubilith taught Theatre of Yugen’s Winter Training Session from 2003 – 2014 in addition to several other seasonal training sessions and workshops. She has been invited to teach workshops in Nohgaku throughout the country to students of all ages. She was a Lecturer at San Francisco State University where she offered a practical introduction to Nohgaku. Jubilith has assisted Richard Emmert in his American based Noh Training Project as well as an Artist in Residence at San Francisco’s School of the Arts since 1998.
Jubilith has been honored with the Ana Itelman Prize as well as the Carter Tobin Prize for performance and her production of Purgatory won the award for Best Ensemble at the 2001 LUNAEA Festival. Her production of This Lingering Life was honored with 8 Theatre Bay Area Award nominations including Outstanding World Premiere Play. She has sat on the Board of Directors for Theatre of Yugen as well as the Network of Ensemble Theatres (NET) a national service organization and she currently sits on Theatre Nohgaku’s Steering Committee.
My job as a theater practitioner is to create and hold a space for the cultivation of empathy. I do this through aggressive acts of inclusion (‘come, be in the room’), radical hospitality (‘come, break bread’) and by vital acts of generosity (‘come train’). I believe theatre can be a non-hierarchical platform for the civilizing and engagement of community and an expression of active citizenship.
I consistently pursue a vision that combines time-honored theatre practices with intercultural exchange and innovation in my efforts to erase what I refer to as ‘false borders’ and notions of the other. I am drawn to weighty topics that prove to be aesthetically challenging. I want to engage the imagination, the audience’s and mine, acknowledge hope to be complex and dive deeply into these ‘false divides’ that persist in their cultural debilitation. I choose to work with traditional Japanese theatrical forms in my efforts to create work that is not explicit but delicately suggestive and poetically evocative. I also find tremendous inspiration in the fellowship I am blessed to engage in with traditional artists who I find to be remarkably mindful and innovative.
I believe it is my responsibility to ‘take care’ of the audience while encouraging them to journey to some place new, yet not unknown. I believe theater is best when it embraces a heighten theatricality and strive to imbue my work with skilled performers, big ideas, lyrical forms of transmission, great care, poetry, and craft. Most of all I believe theater is a gift: the culmination and byproduct of love. The sacred act of gift giving benefits the giver and the receiver for in that shared experience lay the potential for both to dip into the deep well of our humanity and drink.
Comments from Previous Workshop Students
- This training is a good opportunity to work deeply and rigorously with voice, body, and space. There is nothing else like it! – Karen Marek
- … made me realize how beautiful Japanese tradition is … aware of my body … simple movement, but very rich. – Ryo Harada
- … Jubilith is one of the most giving, insightful and fun instructors with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working – and I ain’t just sayin’ that to say it, she rocks. – Sofia Amad
- I found it to be a profoundly solidifying experience. I am more grounded, focused and calm. I see traces of it in my handstands, tumbling, slackrope walking, clowning, teaching, well every aspect really. I have a defined place of focus and calm now that didn’t exist before. It did wonders for my voice as well. I resonate deeper and feel more control vocally. – Nathan Holguin
- For me, the training session was the realization of a wistful dream. The instructor was impressive not only in her craft, but also in her ability to accommodate students’ different skill levels and learning styles. – Edith Newman
WORKSHOP LOGISTICS & REGISTRATION
Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85. Workshops will meet from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, in Studio II of Webster Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA.
Driving Instructions to Amherst College
Workshops cost $399. There is a $50 discount for registration by May 15. NOTE: Contact us to apply for limited pool of financial aid, or for discounts for ATHE, NET (Network of Ensemble Theaters) members or staff/artists from TCG member theatres.
Optional room and board are available on the Amherst College campus for an additional fee. Workshop housing is $231, for a single with a shared bath in an Amherst College dorm. Studios, theatre, dining commons and dorms are all within walking distance. A meal ticket for the Dining Commons (healthy food, much of it local) is $244.
Email us, if you are interested in alternative housing. There are a number of hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts in the area.