Jablonski, Marek (Michael)

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(iv) Form.

Kabuki plays and dances, like Western operas and ballets, have an endless variety of structures dependent on plots and actions. The most typical form of dance generally maintains the tradition of a tripartite division (jo, ha and kyū; see §III above), although with different nomenclature.

The deha (‘coming out’) contains an introduction (oki) and a travelling (michiyuki) section. The nature of the character, the setting and the means of entrance (trap-door, ramp, stage entrance) influence the musical style of both these sections. The chūha (middle section) often has a highly lyrical, romantic passage called the kudoki and occasionally some story-telling (monogatari). The major dance section (odori ji) is essential. The exit section (iriha) involves greater musical and choreographic action (chirashi) and a standard finale (dangire). Such a dance piece may be 15 to 40 minutes long, and there are great variations in the forms of specific pieces.

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