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Zeami’s rules of theatre and recitation

20 marzo 2016

Zeami describes the rules of theatre carefully, so that even an inattentive person may learn them by heart.
a. You have to produce a flower, that is, the core of recitation. An actor is aware he is creating, and yet is the demiurge of aesthetics.

b. You have to produce yugen. It is not a goal, nor an end. It implies a double-bind: an axiom imposes what its corollary forbids.

c. You have to conform to the present, being the only way of living the moment. The important thing is not the respect for conventions, but the right detachment from tradition. However, the past triumphs in the end.

d. You have to be cautious about the use of foreign words. From a musical point of view, this is prescribed by the economy of dissonance, when attained through an acoustic flow controlling its excesses.

e. If you devote yourself to the spirit of gain, you artistic bents are destroyed. There is not an ethical reason at issue, but rather the betrayal of disinterest; it is the sovereign in Cage.

From Leonardo Arena, Cage Nagarjuna Wittgenstein, Kindle Edition

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