No(redirected from doesn't take no for an answer)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms.
No, chemical symbol
No, lake, South Sudan
(also noh, nogaku), a genre of Japanese traditional theater. Originally a genre of Japanese folk theater, no later became a professional art. In the 14th and 15th centuries it developed into a form of theatrical entertainment for the feudal and military aristocracy.
A no presentation includes music, dance, and drama. Action is accompanied by an orchestra consisting of flutes and drums of various sizes and by a male chorus that takes an active part in the drama. No plays are presented on a square stage open on three sides, covered by a roof supported by four pillars. On the left side of the stage there is a platform (hashi-gakari), which leads into the wings. The actors make their entrances and exits on the platform, which is also sometimes used as a stage. Curtains and scenery are not used. Painted on the wall at the back of the stage is a spreading green pine tree on a field of gold. The orchestra and chorus perform on the stage, the orchestra along the back of the stage and the chorus along the right side.
No plays are based on themes from classical Japanese literature, historical chronicles, and Buddhist legends. They contain many monologues and reminiscences. The action is very drawn out, and there is little dramatic development and conflict. There are always two characters, the shite (the principal actor) and the waki (the secondary actor), who sometimes have companions, the tsure. The tsure have no independent functions. The shite and his companions appear in masks; the waki does not wear a mask. All roles are performed by men. No drama is based on two aesthetic concepts: monomane (imitation of reality) and yugen (inner meaning), which are expressed in the text, dance, music, and onstage movement.
A no presentation usually consists of five plays of varying character. Short, rather ordinary folk comedies, called kyogen, are performed between the plays as a contrast to the elegance and refinement of the main action. Makeup is not used. There is no facial mimicry: the faces of actors and members of the chorus remain motionless. The bright colors of the ornate costumes serve to “orchestrate” the performance.
The founders of the no theater were Kiyotsugu Kan’ami (mid-14th century) and his son Zeami (Seami) Motokiyo Kan’ami (14th to 15th centuries). Both were not only actors, playwrights, and creators of music and dances but also theorists who formulated the basic principles of the art of the no theater. Historically, five schools of no theater developed: the kanze, komparu, hosho, kongo, and kita.
In the 1960’s and early 1970’s the medieval structure of the no drama was still intact. No dramas are performed regularly, but they are intended for a restricted audience. For this reason, the no theater exists only through continued financial support from an association of admirers of the genre.
REFERENCESKonrad, N. I. “Teatr No.” In O teatre. Leningrad, 1926.
Tanaka Makoto. Nogaku-no kansho (Best Presentations of the No Genre). Tokyo, 1949.
Teatr i dramaturgiia Iaponii. Moscow, 1965.
Kawatake Shigetoshi. Nihon engeki zenshi (History of Japanese Theater). Tokyo, 1966.
L. D. GRISHELEVA