By James R. Brandon
From India to Japan, the theater of Asia spreads out like an excellent kaleidoscope. There are dance-dramas, ballets, masked pantomimes, operas, operettas, shadow-plays, puppet-plays, and extra. you will find not just actors and actresses, yet dependent and exquisitely costumed court docket dancers, musicians, singers, and chanters. you'll pay attention songs and heroic narratives and flights of poetic discussion. Drums will thud and gongs will increase. in all places you pass, the colours, points of interest, and sounds will range drastically from position to position. however it isn't effortless to find the place theaters are, what sorts of performs are being staged, or the hours, days, and seasons of functionality. The function of this advisor is to assist the traveller in Asia locate and luxuriate in fascinating dwelling theater. The author's own adventure and wisdom of theater in Asia should be an crucial source to the traveller who cares approximately theater, yet is familiar with little approximately Asia.
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Additional resources for Brandon's guide to theater in Asia
You cannot go wrong with a four- or three-dagger dramatic form. The socially curious or the theater buff may find reason to seek out a one-dagger form. Two-dagger forms are often a bore. Places where you can see plays are described in the section, WHERE TO GO. Urban theaters appear first; then towns and villages where special regional performances of importance occur on a regular, often annual, basis. Theaters within a city are listed alphabetically. A theater's name appears in in bold-face type (Kabukiza).
A popular theater exists as well. A landlocked country, off the usual through-Asia route and overshadowed by its larger neighbors, Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia has always been an unusual destination for travelers. For a select few, a visit to the temple ruins in the jungles at Angkor was a special pilgrimage; if you were lucky you could see a performance of the Royal Cambodian Ballet troupe outdoors with Angkor Wat itself as a backdrop. Angkor is near Siem Reap and 150 miles northwest of Phnom Penh.
Amphitheater seating rises in steeply-raked, curving rows; comfortable seating in wide chairs; air-conditioned; no balcony. Auditorium is so large you need to sit close or bring binoculars. Semicircular stage, 80 feet in diameter, thrusts into auditorium. Too large for traditional opera or modern drama but fine for orchestral or dance concerts. Chinese-language program. Rents to various groups. Student performances of Ching Hsi some Saturday afternoons. Kuo Li Yi-shu Kuan (National Arts Hall)** An older building seating 600 in well-raked orchestra and three-row balcony.