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Tohoku Remix is an astonishing new collaboration of  Paris based international artists DJ Click, Etsuro Ono(Tsugaru shamisen) , Kagura groups in Miyagi prefecture, and Bunta Sato( Tsugaru Fue) in Aomori prefecture. More info coming soon!



Etsuro Ono, Bunta Sato, and DJ Click in Hirosaki, Tsugaru, Aomori.

4th June 2016 at Club SOL , Sendai, Miyagi

4th June 2016 at Club SOL , Sendai, Miyagi

 Noh Reimagined 2018


Sublime Illusions: The Transformative Power of Noh


Following the highly successful Noh Reimagined festival in 2016, it is returning with an exciting new line-up and theme. Noh Reimagined 2018 will shed light on the unique dramaturgy of this 650-year-old artform, focusing on Mugen (‘phantasmal’) Noh, in which the main actor (shite) appears as a ghost in the dream of a monk, performed by the supporting actor (waki).

Six renowned Noh performers from Japan will be joined by innovative artists, leading neuroscientists and Noh researchers to explore these surreal elements of Noh, along with its use of time, space and symbolism, through interdisciplinary performances, talks, demonstrations and workshops.

Blurbs by Programme

6-7pm (Hall 1)

Opening Talk

Join the conversation with the eminent scholar of neuroesthetics Prof Semir Zeki (UCL), and neuroscientist and Noh practitioner Prof Atsushi Iriki (Riken Institute, Japan). At this talk, they will discuss the relationship between the mechanisms of the brain that create illusions, the arts, and the 650-year-old tradition of Noh.

In addition, Prof Reiko Yamanaka of the Noh Theatre Research Institute of Hosei University will talk about ‘Mugen Noh’, conceived by the fourteenth-century Noh playwright and actor Zeami. In these plays, after an interlude, a restless spirit emerges in a dream of a travelling monk, telling the story of its unfulfilled life, transporting audiences to a world of illusion.


7.30-9.30pm (Hall 1)

The Sublime Illusions of Mugen Noh

Two shite actors and four Noh musicians will present some of the finest instrumental and dance sections from the classical Noh repertoires, as well as highlights from the masterpiece of Mugen Noh, Izutsu (井筒, ‘The Well Cradle’) by Zeami. Izutsu is drawn from the tenth-century ‘Tale of Ise’ (Ise monogatari), in which the spirit of a woman reflects on her complicated longing for her husband.

The Noh performers will include Yukihiro Isso (nohkan flute), Masaki Umano (shite, main actor), Jiichi Asami (shite, main actor), Kyosuke Tanabe (kotsuzumi, shoulder drum), Mitsuhiro Kakihara (otsuzumi, hip drum) and Kiyoshi Yoshitani (taiko, stick drum).


9:45-10:30pm (Hall 2)

Leon Michener + Noh: Space in Between

Leon Michener is a truly original pianist, known as the architect of the Klavikon system (a combination of amplification, feedback and analogue processing), which seeks to expand the concept of the traditional solo piano recital. For the performance, using a piano, he will sculpt the feedback created by amplifying the piano’s soundboard, applying the space between the piano and the audiences in Hall 2 as an ascetic counterpoint to the Noh musicians.  


30th June

Noh Movement Workshop: Acting from Inside

12-1pm (Hall 2)

Jean-Louis Barrault, a French actor who uses Noh techniques to help him inhabit his characters, described his experience of movement in Noh by saying, ‘It appears to me that, acting more from the inside, making fewer gestures, I gain effectiveness – I enter fully into the role and control it.’ This concept of ‘acting from inside’ will be explored by Masaki Umano, the shite actor of the Kanze School. Participants will learn the basic kata (movement patterns) of Noh, focusing on centre of gravity and concentrating energy, turning these into a series of fluid motions that enable subtle emotional expression.

We welcome people from dance and theatre backgrounds.

Please bring a pair of white socks or white tabi. (* note: this information may not be needed in the brochure )


Seminar – Noh Mask, Noh Movement: Illusory Devices

The Noagami Memorial Noh Theatre Research Institute of Hosei University

2-3.30pm (St Pancras)

Prof Reiko Yamanaka will unveil the secrets of Noh movement through narrative and scientific analyses. By doing this, she will explain how Noh achieves such rich expression via simple, subtle movements.

Prof Keizo Miyamoto will talk about the Noh mask as representative of the spirits of ghost, deity and demon. Discover how these highly stylised masks are used by shite actors, transforming them into otherworldly figures on the stage.



Talk and Presentation – Noh + Neuroscience: Glimpsing the Invisible

4-5:30pm (Hall 2)

Two leading neuroscientists, Prof Semir Zeki and Prof Atsushi Iriki, will examine curious connections between the 650-year-old tradition of Noh and the mechanisms of our brain.

‘Since so much in Noh performance is left to the imagination, which is a mental activity produced by the brain, I have decided to supplement what is on stage with lighting that will produce a visible, sensory counterpart – coloured shadows – which is also produced by the brain.’ Prof Semir Zeki, a pioneer of neuroesthetics will speak about the objectivity of subjective state and will illustrate this using the coloured shadow illusions in collaboration with Noh performers.

Prof Atsushi Iriki will examine evidence-based speculations in light of his recent research on how we acquired the concept of the ‘meta-self’ (a third-person sense of our own existence) in relation to Riken-no-ken (a form of self-analysis used by Noh performers) and how we visualise illusions as realistic entities in Noh performances.


Talk – Clod Ensemble

6-6:40pm (St Pancras)

For over two decades, Clod Ensemble has presented highly original, finely crafted performances in theatres, dance houses, concert halls and public spaces. Like Noh Theatre, Clod Ensemble’s work is rooted in the connection between live music and movement. Artistic Directors Suzy Willson and Paul Clark will talk about their recent experiences of meeting Noh performers to discover connections and share ideas.

The Transformative Power of Noh 

7.30-9.30pm (Hall 1)

The final programme of the festival will celebrate the transformative power of Noh while transcending time, culture and artforms. Alongside excerpts from some of the best classical Noh repertoires, highly creative new pieces inspired by the tradition of Noh will be presented.

Yukihiro Isso (nohkan flute) will premiere a new Mugen Noh inspired piece that takes inspiration from a story written by neuroscientist Prof Iriki, joined by Noh performers.

Wiebke Leister’s and David Toop’s performance will work with improvised sound and photographs of life-casts and death-masks to think through the out-of-body experience of Hannya when encountering the dreaming monk in Mugen Noh.


The award-winning performance company Clod Ensemble will share their musical and choreographic responses to the characteristic sounds and movements of Noh, embodying the restless spirits that appear in Noh stories.



Generously supported by Yakult UK, Arts Council England, JSPS and Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.