Centre to host Japanese Winter Plum Festival and workshops, Feb. 17-19
Centre College and the Norton Center for the Arts will host the Japanese Winter Plum Festival on Thurs., Feb. 19, a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Japan, “Land of the Rising Sun.”
The festival will feature a plethora of demonstrations related to Japanese culture, including a traditional tea ceremony and tasting, a calligraphy demonstration, a kimono display and an origami workshop, all of which will take place in the Grand Foyer of the Norton Center. Yosakoi Dance demonstrations will also be performed on the Newlin Hall Stage at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
The highlight of the festival will be rotating performances of short plays in the Sagi-ryu Kyogen style, a comic form of theater that originated in the 14th century and typically involve humorous fables involving colorful townspeople. The plays will be performed in Weisiger Theatre at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
The festival’s actors, dancers and demonstrators are delegates of Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefectural University (YPU), the institution with which Centre has maintained a successful partnership for study abroad exchange for the past 15 years.
Several other programs leading up to the festival will be offered for those who want to further explore Japanese culture and are free and open to the public. A panel entitled “The Relationship Between Performance and Literature in Medieval Japan” will take place Tues., Feb. 17 from 9:40-11:10 a.m. in Young 245. Scholars and practitioners of traditional Japanese theater from YPU along with Dr. Michael Rich, assistant professor of Japanese at Eastern Kentucky University, will discuss the development of traditional Japanese theater and the relationship between the performers, the performance and the literature. Those interested in attending should contact Visiting Assistant Professor of Japanese Miyabi “Abbie” Yamamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org for space purposes.
In addition, representatives from YPU and the Japan/America Society of Kentucky will lead a panel entitled “How the Japanese Care for Self, Community and the Environment” on Tues., Feb. 17 from 11:20 a.m to 12:30 p.m. in Young 113 to discuss the Japanese concept of kizuna, the everlasting strong bond between individuals.
Members of the Kyogen theater troupe will host a hands-on workshop for those who wish to learn the basic movements and rules of comedy involved in Kyogen theater. The workshop will be held Wed., Feb. 18 from 3-4 p.m. in Weisiger Theater and all those who are interested should contact Norton Center Engagemet Coordinator Jessica Durham at Jessica.Durham@centre.edu for space purposes.
Finally, Centre is proud to welcome Japanese Consul General Motohiko Kato to campus for the first time. In a special talk entitled “Japan in the World,” Kato will address the relationship between Japan and the United States, particularly as it involves the local Kentucky community including Japanese economic, societal, political and cultural affairs. The lecture will be on Wed., Feb. 18 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in Vahlkamp Theater.
The Japanese Winter Plum Festival will take place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 19. Tickets for non-Centre students are $20. The convocation portion of the festival for Centre students will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Weisiger Theater.
by Caitlan Cole