As the troupe approaches its centennial, Japan’s Takarazuka Revue will be bringing a lavish feast for the eyes and ears, along with its uniformly tantalizing dance steps, to Taiwan for the first time ever. The troupe is set to perform its new musical theater piece Chu Liuxiang, a stage adaptation of Taiwanese author Gu Long’s wuxia novel series New Legend of Chu Liuxiang. Koichi Kobayashi, the group’s director, says that he hopes the group, being Japan’s most remarkable Broadway-style troupe, will show Taiwan how grateful they are for all the aid Taiwan provided Japan following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
The Takarazuka Revue was established in 1914. Around 1,000 performers have been affiliated with the theater company since it was first established a century ago. Before becoming a member of the troupe, a young woman must train for two years in music, dance and theater at the Takarazuka Music School. Being an all-female musical theater troupe, height is used to determine whether a person plays a male or female role. With male roles that represent handsome young gentlemen and warm, romantic males, they are closer to Japanese women’s idealized, dream-like notion of males as opposed to the real-life chauvinistic males of Japanese society. For this reason, the troupe is highly popular among women in Japan, and is a cultural must-see for tourists.
Several actors from Takarazuka Revue’s Star Troupe came to Taiwan last week to hold a press conference announcing their upcoming performance, taking on the important responsibility of representing their troupe and offering a brief performance during the visit. The frequently-used large-scale stairs and burlesque feather fans will all be seen during performances at the National Theater from April 6 to 14 next year. Details are available at http://www.kham.com.tw.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)