Kyogen Czech, Kenya Satoh – shamisen, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko

狂言, 琉球國祭り太鼓, 三味線

Kyogen Czech

Kyogen Czech focuses primarily on studying and staging Japanese kyogen farce plays in Czech. In a way, this is a globally unique project of long-term cultural collaboration between Czech and Japanese theatre artists. DK is a singular theatre troupe active outside Japan that has focused systematically on this traditional art genre.

The troupe was founded thanks to the initiative of Czech playwright, director and mime Hubert Krejčí, Japan scholar Ondřej Hýbl, and the leading representative of the Okura traditional Kyoto school, Master Shime Shigeyama. In 2016 DK received the highly prestigious Saikasho award from the Nogami Noh Theatre Institute of the Tokyo University.

Kenya Satoh - shamisen

The shamisen is a stringed musical instrument similar to the lute, with a long neck and three silk strings attached to it. It came to Japan from China through Okinawa, from where it eventually spread across the country. Initially, the instrument’s body was fitted with snakeskin. Snakeskin was difficult to find in the islands of Japan, however, and so it was replaced by dog or cat skin. The instrument also includes a bachi, a plectrum that is used to sound both the strings and the shamisen’s drum-like body. The pins that maintain string tension tend to come loose during the playing, so the player needs to tune the instrument while playing. Kenya Satoh will introduce the beauty of this exotic-sounding instrument to us with several pieces he will perform.

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko is a type of dance stemming from the ancient tradition of eisā (Okinawan drumming) that features a remarkable style of high kicks, karate movements and synchronised choreography. Young people in Okinawa meet at the summer eisā feast to honour their ancestors. Using drums of various sizes, they sing and dance and pray to the dead for good health and prosperity. The dancing is filled with positive energy and joy.