Mixed Me­dia Santa Fe JIN Ja­panese Cul­tural Fes­ti­val

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Kabuki, a form of Ja­panese dance-the­ater dat­ing to the 17th cen­tury, is con­sid­ered avant-garde, melo­dra­matic, and tra­di­tional, as well as sen­sual — eas­ily rec­og­nized by its dis­tinc­tive white face makeup. It was orig­i­nally per­formed by fe­male sex work­ers, and male au­di­ences of­ten got too aroused and rowdy for com­fort. Fe­male ac­tors were legally re­placed by male ac­tors, but when it turned out men in the au­di­ence were just as aroused by men on stage, older ac­tors were in­stalled in an ef­fort to cool the pub­lic’s li­bido. Though kabuki was briefly banned in Ja­pan af­ter World War II, to­day ac­tors of both gen­ders per­form the pop­u­lar art form to great ac­claim. In 1983, Mary Mariko Ohno founded Kabuki Academy in Ta­coma, Wash­ing­ton. Born and raised in Tokyo, Ohno per­forms in­ter­na­tion­ally with an ensem­ble of shamisen (Ja­panese lute) play­ers. On Satur­day, April 16, she dances at the Santa Fe JIN Ja­panese Cul­tural Fes­ti­val, hosted by the Ja­panese In­ter­cul­tural Net­work, at the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (201 W. Marcy St.). The theme of this year’s fes­ti­val is kabuki, so there are sev­eral dis­cus­sions and demon­stra­tions on the topic, as well as kabuki-re­lated en­ter­tain­ment by lo­cal mu­si­cians and per­form­ers, in­clud­ing Madi Sato with David Michael Tardy, Tom Berkes, and Santa Fe Wadaiké. More than 30 ven­dors will sell arts, crafts, and other goods, along with Ja­panese food, snacks, and tea from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is $5 (free for chil­dren un­der twelve). For a com­plete sched­ule of events visit www.santafe­jin.org. — Jen­nifer Levin

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