The CRAFT of SCENOGRAPHY and NOH STAGE of JAPAN

Post 715 by Gautam Shah

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Townscape_with_a_stage_performance,_by_Matthijs_Naiveu

Scenography is a practice of Stage Craft that includes scenic design, lighting, sound, costume design and various types of shielding or curtain barriers. It creates a specific stage-environments or atmosphere to support the expression or narration. It is also perceived as combination of technological provisions and sensorial effects to support what an acted or spoken narrative cannot do or need not do. It creates a sense of place in a performance that could be indicative, real or hyper real or even bizarre.

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The term scenography is of Greek origin, skēnē =stage or scene building, grapho =to describe. It was originally detailed within Aristotle’s Poetics as skenographia. It is now also used as craft of display in museums and merchandising.

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Scenography is the seamless synthesis of space, text, research, art, actors, directors and spectators that contribute to an original creation. -Howard, Pamela (2002 -What is Scenography).

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Scenography is not simply concerned with creating and presenting images to an audience; it is concerned with audience reception and engagement. It is a sensory as well as an intellectual experience, emotional as well as rational. Joslin McKinney and Philip Butterworth..

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Noh Performance > The traditional Japanese Noh stage (butai) Design derived from Shinto worship pavilions (haiden) or dance pavilions (kagura-den) of Shinto shrines. The stage is squared and bounded by Four columns (like the Indian Mandap or Mantapam) for Hindu Marriage or Yagna pooja ceremonies. The four column-roofed entity is placed in open as well as indoor facilities. The stage is a sanctified area for the ritual of performance.

The roof is overpowering element drawing attention to the performance. It also becomes the focus of the hashigakari (suspension bridge), a narrow passage at right upend, used by actors to arrive on the stage.

Noh-stage-diagram

Noh performance space is open on all sides to offer a participatory area for the performers and the audience. It stays open through the performance, as there are no curtains to declare beginning or end of an act over the central stage (honbutai =main stage). So like Indian Kathakali or street performance of Ramayana, Mahabharat and other classical plays the audience see the preparation of scenes and actors’ entry-exit. This is what happened in Greek open air amphi theatre stage performances. An edgeless performance place.

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Some of my own BLOGS on STAGE & PERFORMANCE CRAFT > LINKS

STAGE CURTAINS Part 1 ● Performance Spaces
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/stage-curtains-part-1-%e2%97%8f-performance-spaces/
STAGE CURTAINS – Part 2 (forming the performance spaces)
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/stage-curtains-part-2/
STAGE CURTAINS -types Part III
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/stage-curtains-types-part-iii/
SEGMENTING the SPACES -Issues of Design 31
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2020/01/23/segmenting-the-spaces-issues-of-design-31/
MAKE-BELIEVE in INTERIOR DESIGN
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/make-believe-in-interior-design/
DISTANCE as an ELEMENT of DESIGN -Issues of Design 26
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/distance-as-an-element-of-design-issues-of-design-26/
MODELLING of OBJECTS in SPACE -issues of design -20
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/modelling-of-objects-in-space-issues-of-design-20/
CONTEXT -Issues for Design -12
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/context-issues-for-design-12/
INTERVENTIVE SPACES – Issues for Design -2
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/interventive-spaces-issues-for-design-2/
EXPRESSION and COMMUNICATION -as behaviour in space
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/expression-and-communication-as-behaviour-in-space/
The INTERLUDE (intervening space)
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/the-interlude-intervening-space/
DRAPERIES
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/drapery/
VISUAL PERCEPTION of MOVEMENTS
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/visual-perception-of-movements/
SOUND, SPACE and PERCEPTION
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/sound-space-and-perception/
PERCEPTION of SOUND and SPACES
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/perception-of-sound-and-spaces/
SPATIAL MEMORIES –Issues of Design 29
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/spatial-memories-issues-of-design-29/
BALANCE in DESIGN – Part 1
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/balance-in-design-part-1/
BALANCE in DESIGN – Part 2
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/balance-in-design-part-2/
SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/sheer-fabrics-and-curtains/
SPACE and SOUND REVERBERATION
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/space-and-sound-reverberation/

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