yukinojou: (Default)
I'm overdue on quite a lot of commentary about recent revue happenings (retirements mostly, alas), but I just ran into a clip that really drove home why the kuroembi / tailcoat otokoyaku dance is my favourite set fragment from any revue. It's as stylised and full of set elements as any traditional Japanese dance, and yet when you have so many otokoyaku moving in unison, it's magic. The flair, too, the way each movement is carried out with flourish and grace.

I need to bookmark and download this, because it is Takarazuka.

yukinojou: (Default)
...yeah. I need some time to think this through.

Some things, I really like. The reason Tomomin initially caught my attention was not her goofiness, but the fact that she's one of those girls who gives all to her role, allowing it to subsume her. Onstage, Yumeno Seika isn't there, and this is a very Yukigumi thing.

Similarly, I think Masako will do nicely in Hoshigumi (giving Toyoko someone to bounce off of) and MiyaRuri in Tsukigumi - Hoshi just has too many people and she hasn't been well-utilised lately; Mii-chan's situation in Sora was the same. Dai-chan I'm not sure about - there's going to be Tomomin and Koma above her and Kingu gaining fast. I'm curious about Serika Toa in Hanagumi. Dammit. Have to start watching them.

But I'm... annoyed about the Senka transfers. I know, I've been talking for ages about how Senka needs new blood, but it rubs me the wrong way to take Ema Naoki and Asuka Yuu away from troupes that they've been with for respectively 30 and 35 years. Let them retire with the people who care for them, would you?

Micchan... I'm hoping it's a New Senka thing, Tom-style, stealing All The Shows. And better than the dreaded alternative!
yukinojou: (Default)
Oh, I did not expect this.

All the speculation was about Yuuhi or Chie. I didn't expect this, not bright Kiriyan and all her artistry. Not Kiriyan-gumi, because I know she'lll be taking a lot of them with her - my Morie, most probably, maybe Marimo, who knows what others as well.

And then I realise she had a good two years, with some perfect shows, and two young successors in line to the top star throne. She's done what she came to do, and I have the feeling she's retiring on her own terms.

It still hits me hard. For all that I like all current top stars, she had this ineffable quality that meant just seeing her smile would make my day.

Kiriyan ♥ I'll miss your light ♥
yukinojou: (Default)
Toyoko's Mr Darcy in a Bow/Nippon Seinenkan show, while Chie has what looks like a self-titled concert with an Umeda/Nippon Seinenkan run. Alike to Komu's Albatross, Wataru's Across! and Saeko's Nettaiyawa. And she's just had a music video, big box and everything.

If not for the fact Chie's November on the 2012 big calendar, I'd say she'd be out by August, leaving Toyoko to take over. But now... oh, Hankyu, making us speculate so much ~.~
yukinojou: (Default)
I was in love with the idea of Yukinojou Henge ever since I learned of the 1994 Yukigumi show, because a revenge-bent onnagata who falls in love with his enemy's daughter sounded like the perfect role for Madame Ichiro. Top it with the lovely kanji (hope of snow) and I was hooked. My Takarazuka journal has been named Yukinojou for over a year and a half now, and so is my tumblr.

I finally got my hands on a Sky Stage recording (low-quality third-hand copy - does anyone have anything bigger than a postage stamp?) and oh, this show is that good and more.

Revenge-bent onnagata who falls in love with his enemy's daughter and runs away with the yakuza )

Um. Yes.

Jul. 15th, 2011 08:22 pm
yukinojou: (Default)
So, the official Twitter account for the Ritardando play just retweeted my "Yay show~!" tweeted at them, and took the time to look up "thank you" in Polish.


Also, whenever I think I couldn't admire Madame Ichiro more, she comes up with something that impresses me even more. At the press conference for Ritardando she neatly wove the marriage theme of the show into comments aimed at shutting up the tabloids :) Also, in the poster for her new concert in October she looks fantastically radiant and serene.

And I assume everyone's seen the Toho Geino actors' post-earthquake support message? Lots of OGs there, including Icchan and Asako :)

New shows!

Apr. 26th, 2011 10:24 am
yukinojou: (Default)
Like everyone else's, my spider sense is tingling about the title and summary of Yuuhi's next Grand Theatre revue - if it showcases her talents as a Nice Guy and is done by Fuji-sensei, I guess the retirement announcement should come mid-A Beautiful Life? A tails-musical in the first half will showcase her style, I hope, and if anyone could do a musical about tailors, it's Ueda Keiko-sensei. And hey, no Masatsuka-S for a final show - I really approve of that.

And Canary means that Eritan's hanging around for 2012 at least ♥

However, OCEAN'S ELEVEN. Can we rename it the SHOW OF CAPSLOCK already and be done with it? ;) Unless Hoshigumi steals someone from Senka, it's going to be Junko-san as Saul, Chie gets Danny of course, and then my dream cast would be Toyoko!Benedict, Tomomin!Rusty, Beni!Linus and Makaze!... Ohdear. Basher, Frank, Virgil? Only Renta would be a fantastic Basher, and if Junko-san's Reuben instead, that opens up Makaze!Saul, which would fit with the RIDICULOUS.
yukinojou: (Death Sena)
Has everyone seen this?

The meme thinks I should play Oscar to Kashige's Andre in Rose of Versailles: Oscar ;) With Rika as Girodelle, which is terrifying, Tom!Alain (I can live with that), Ume-chan!Rosalie, Kimu!Bernard and Hoshi-san as General Jarjayes, plus Eritan and Tonami. It's like it reads my Yukigumi mind XD (And the meme thinks I should be Komu.)

(And for the record, the meme casts my real-life name as Christine to Wataru's Phantom and Saeko's Philippe. Excuse me while I fall over laughing.)
yukinojou: (Maki Ichiro)
(I need more icons on Dreamwidth. I do have a Karincho one on LiveJournal.)

As a fan of 80s and 90s era stars, I remain indebted to Sky Stage (when kind people send me things that aired) and the Eternal Scene Collection. Thanks to the latter, some landmark shows make it to DVD years after they were performed - shows that were never released even on VHS - and I owe it for Chuushingura.

(Incidentally, the Eternal Scene Collection has great production values. Chuushingura is taken from an NHK broadcast, the image is crystal-clear, and an exact reproduction of the programme - full booklet, including English synopsis - more than makes up for lack of rehearsal footage.)

You can't be interested in samurai ethos without hearing of the 47 ronin, but for all the accounts I read of the story, this was the first time I saw it performed. And dear gods, it is moving - for once Takarazuka goes for no flourishes and added drama, because the story provides, relentlessly, emotion after emotion.

In particular )
yukinojou: (Default)
Tomu - oh. I need to rewrite my letter, because I wrote it yesterday on the plane.

Basically, I looked at her on Saturday and I said "Top Star". I was right. (And she's going to be aces with Ran-chan. I wanted Eritan, yes, but wherever Tomu goes, she will be beautiful and brilliant.) Mind you, I would have preferred Sora-Top Tomu. Just because she has so much fun there ♥

Teru - um. Basically, whut? She was just getting used to Hoshigumi! And she was so brilliant at being evil to them in Officer that I'm really, really surprised. (Although I guess this creates a void for Hoshi-nibante. And there's a can of worms that I don't want to open.) And the whole Soragumi situation in this case - I don't think a nibante was ever demoted to sanbante, so either Yuuhi goes and Micchan's top, or... Yeah. Whut. It's a good word.

Yuki retirements - poor Yuuki Senju :( I hope she'll recover from whatever laid her out so badly. Shinko has me all @.@ though - Manaka Ayu as third Juliette? Though Shou-kun Tybalt will be good :)

And just to reiterate: WHUT.
yukinojou: (Default)
I saw this show one and a half times (the half being the revue, before fleeing Bow-Hall-wards), both times from toujitsuken seats - the very back of the balcony. I remain in love with those seats: they're perfect, you can see everything and opera-glass everyone you choose, and they cost so little compared to the rest. Plus getting in early enough to queue up for same-day toujitsuken means you can watch the actresses arrive as well. (Incidentally, I am in love with Suzumi Shio's dress sense.)

Revue )

Officer and a Gentleman )
yukinojou: (Default)
The entire Takarazuka run of this show sold out the day we got in, so I had to use somewhat unorthodox means (also known as bribing the hostel staff with sweets) to get my ticket. I'm very, very glad I did. With one show to go, it's the best show I've seen during this trip, hands down.

Theatre, sets, costumes )

Plot summary )

Direction, music, choreography )

Actresses )

The DVD comes out on January 22. I believe I have shopping to arrange.
yukinojou: (Elegance)
Tom. Tom. Evil, evil woman.

At least I wasn't the only person sobbing in the intermission of Onegin. Tom and Hiromi just about did me in.

There is a full review upcoming (with an extra-special section for Ayanagi Shou, because yes, I have a new favourite), but this show is one of those that mean I love this revue, this wonderful theatre that goes straight for your heart without bothering with mundane things like words you can understand. I was sitting in Bow Hall with my face in pain from grinning and tears in my eyes.

(And Pushkin! They put Pushkin in it! In bed with Onegin! And Tatiana was perfect, so strong, and Maihane Mimi is my choice for Yuki Top, hands down, and I saw Miho Keiko live, and did I mention HIROMI yet?)

Snow Troupe. Yukigumi. ♥
yukinojou: (Death Glomp)
...Is Hankyu switching to actual casting by merit? Because I have no other explanation for the Romeo to Juliette cast.

It's going to be glorious. Kitarou as the main antagonist, allowed to let go of all the stops? Yes, please. Also a yes, please on Hiromi as the substitute antagonist after Tybalt's death, of course.

Saou Kurama as the Nurse will be - interesting, because it's a very major role and in a show with three mature female roles I guess it's Hankyuu-style to give the one with most singing to an otokoyaku in a skirt. Chigi!Mercutio I pretty much guessed, though I was betting on Mattsu being Tybalt rather than Benvolio. Still, all good. And Oonagi Mao's Prince has me intrigued - she really caught my eye in Karamazov, she has the charisma to carry opening a show.

And then there is Sakina as Death and Cecil as Love. Ah. Yes. That, I've got to see :D
yukinojou: (Default)
I love Toho's new policy of being all social media and modern about their marketing <3 I could listen to Maki's voice for hours.

yukinojou: (kiss)
I am fairly delighted with the cast for Evgeny Onegin. Last time I was in Japan, I managed to miss Yukigumi completely, so this time karma is making it up for me not only with a Tom-show (first Sienne I ever saw on a DVD, so she will always be special), but a Yukigumi Tom show, with Hiromi as Lensky - yes, this would be the nibante role. I deduce that Kitarou is the narrator of the play, and Sarasa is playing Olga, what should be the nibante musumeyaku role. I'm just hoping that they'll go with Tschaikovsky music as well :)

Now, fingers crossed that it doesn't sell out in Bow Hall, because otherwise I'll have to do something desperate with Yahoo!Japan. Here's hoping everyone spent their money on Mizu's taidan.
yukinojou: (Default)
This is crossposted, because it's Of Interest to anyone who likes Shakespeare. Or is professionally interested in him and his works, even.

The Takarazuka Revue often takes on Shakespeare, but they usually do "shows inspired by", like Epiphany, or in the case of Romeo + Juliette, they adapt ready-made musical adaptations. This time, Fuji Daisuke, the director, went a different way: he took the new Japanese translation of Hamlet, and set it to music verbatim, only moving around some lines. As a rock opera.

Since it was announced, I was in two minds. On one hand, I adore Takarazuka Shakespeare adaptations exactly because they play with the original text rather than do it verbatim. On the other, it's Takarazuka - I was certain there would be sparkles. Then again, it's Hamlet. Hasn't it been done in every edgy and modern way possible? Musical included.

When the poster came out, I was sold. With her makeup alone, Ryuu Masaki transformed herself into a fey, wild and yet regal creature. The red lipstick is to symbolise blood, and yet it's also Takarazuka-code for androgynity.

(I have several of those posters. They will be on the walls of my new apartment.)

The live reports and Sky Stage footage confirmed my impressions. Since Masaki is not-quite-second in Moon troupe, this show didn't make it to DVD, but thanks to noble efforts of dedicated fans, the Sky Stage recording now available with subtitles after covering the costs of blank disc and shipping.

Yes, it's that good. It's that brain-breaking, too.

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason,
how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals
—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Now imagine this sung by a leather-clad rockstar Hamlet with a chorus of enthusiastic cheerleaders - with golden pompoms - shouting "Crazy Hamlet!"

Oh, Revue ♥ And oh, people. Because the same show has the single best Claudius after the play scene that I've ever seen. One of the best Hamlets. A hands-down fantastic Ophelia. (And I may want a Horatio of my own.) Each interpretation is layered and referential. They've seen productions, they know the story, and they've melded it into something of their own.

And at the same time it's Hamlet. A Hamlet as told by Horatio, ghostly and fantastic and iconic. A Hamlet in which Ophelia is central (because it's Takarazuka, and because in Takarazuka, there is nothing by Love and Death). And a show with energy that goes through the roof. The recording was made on the final night, and though everyone is in high form, you can really tell they're falling over because of how much they gave. Voices are torn to shreds.

Kabuki Rock Hamlet - direction, music, sets, costumes )
And all the women merely players. Great ones. )

Someone on my f-list put it well: This is a good Hamlet, period. Not for Takarazuka, not for a musical, for Shakespeare. They could show this at any Shakespeare festival without any shame at all.
yukinojou: (Default)
Skyscraper Rhapsody looks immensely fun. I need to acquire a Sky Stage recording in due time!

And the new posters for Anna Karenina are gorgeous, proving that feminity can be elegant and tragic. Of course, for me, Ichiro's is the focus. Four years of family life have only made her face warmer, like marble polished by touches. ♥
yukinojou: (Maki Ichiro)
I am not a fan of the Rose of Versailles musicals for several reasons (more of them below), but for all that my seito of choice was Yukigumi nibante for almost five years, few of them are out on DVD or VHS. So I'll take what I can get, even if it has too much pink. Yukigumi of that era was far too brilliant to be wasted in any musical. Case in point: BeruBara '89.

My issues with the BeruBara musicals in general )

Andre to Oscar Hen 1989 )

In conclusion: for BeruBara, this was good.
yukinojou: (executive fangirl)
Getting Dancin' Crazy eventually was a foregone conclusion the moment I learned of it back in 2007 - over half of Takarazuka's most noted modern dancers in one show, sign me up! I've finally obtained it, and this is a collection of disjointed exclamations. The display of talent dazzles far too much for me to be coherent.

It's Takarazuka dancing, period, stripped of the ostrich feathers and sequins, nothing but the art. The most elaborate costumes are for a single Arabesque number, and apart from that, nothing fancier than tailcoats.

Summary of not!Review: NATSUME-SAN. Komu ♥ Kazahana Mai O.o BwahahaRika <3 Hoshina!! Wataru :) Black Angels! <- random order. Except Natsume-san. Because this is a show with a dream OG dancing troupe, of which Natsume-san is the beloved top star.

Mostly in chronological order )

If I ever end up getting an iPod-analogue, I need those Natsume-san x Komu duets on it. And in a perverse way I'm glad I hadn't seen it before November - I would have taken it badly. This way, Natsume-san joins the long list of people I found too late ♥


yukinojou: (Default)
Beth Winter

January 2012

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