Esumi and Asao


The piece won the II. RS9 OFF 2017, Independent Theater Festival's main prize

Keeping in mind the main goals of Ziggurat Project (the creation of multi-disciplinary performances born in real co-operation) we stage Roland Acsai’s modern Noh drama with tools of physical and object theatre, accompanied by improvisational live music employing unconventional methods. The dancers and the musicians appear in more functions in the performance.

We consider especially important the cohesive interaction of Japanese and Hungarian traditions. Esumi and Asao aims to give an answer to how Japanese traditions can be accepted, reinterpreted and expressed in our own theatrical language as Hungarians.

Development of movements is preceded by intense research that incorporates Japanese ceremonies (kaguras), traditional (noh) and contemporary dance (butoh), martial arts, Zen philosophy and meditation practices and melodies, as well as Hungarian mask traditions, folk dances and folk songs – with equivalent character of the Japanese pentatony.

The musical concept is the creation of a soundscape in which traditional Japanese music is born with correlation of Hungarian folk and classical music. The instrument and the way of musical expression was realized in the improvised composing of a bound unity and format system in the light of preliminary research knowledge, faithfully to the dramaturgy of the work. Like the role and musical narrative of Japanese music in noh theater, the aim was to create a powerful, cathartic musical atmosphere - linked to the content elements of the dance choreography - which "stops the time" in the Eastern sense.

"... the lean form that Kalmár puts together on visual, movement and musical level is valid in itself and stops on its feet. The one-eyed, bark-crafted masks – which are also inspired by the noh theatre - are good and apposite, because they are suited to this cold formalism. It is a clever how the determining minimalist movement and gesture language opens up to more vibrant contemporary dance and martial arts elements and in the end to Hungarian folk dance, to slow forgatós, without any hitches. "
(Csaba Králl: Scarcity and spaciousness / Szűkösség és tágasság, Élet és Irodalom)

"... they did not strive to give the impression of an authentic noh performance but inspired from this tradition. They used signals that can be interpreted by the Hungarian viewers as well, even if they have already met that sign, even if they have not."
(Lilla Turbuly: Successful transplantations/ Sikeres transzplantációk,

Esumi: Emese Kovács
Asao: Ákos Kalmár
The Witch of Bambuszliget: Ádám Munkácsi
God: Áron Porteleki
Musicians: Ádám Munkácsi, Áron Porteleki
Concept, masks: Ákos Kalmár
Director - choreographer: Ákos Kalmár
Special thanks: Batarita

Supporters: Japan Foundation, SÍN Cultural Center, Artus Studio, Pro Progressione, RS9

17-18th March 2017, Artus, Arccal a halnak new generation program
Further performances:
28th April 2017 RS9 OFF Festival, RS9 Theater - festival main prize: