What is a mask But? Telling
about theater, we usually remember Shakespeare`s theater or Chekhov. In comparison with them east theater is represented beautiful and not absolutely clear exotic. It belongs also to the Japanese traditional theater But. Such theater could appear only in the east. Everything in it is unusual for the European: plasticity of actors, the stylized, refined and magnificent clothes. But, perhaps, most of all - masks. They are the most remarkable part of shape of the actor in theater But. Not without reason it is often called theater of a mask.
In theater But absolutely special masks from a tree are created. They are, as a rule, deprived of bright decorative effect, are extremely simple. At the same time they are surprisingly graceful and very precisely transfer contours of faces of people of different age and types. They precisely correspond to characters of dramas. These are masks - role of aged men, men, women, deities, spirits, demons. Now 86 names of masks are known But.
Long since the mask But, as well as many things in medieval Japan (mirrors, an amulet, a sword, charms), was allocated with magic properties. Echoes of these beliefs reached up to now and are expressed in a reverent attitude of the actor to a mask. He will never cross through the mask lying on a floor in the actor`s bathroom. There is always an altar with the most ancient masks belonging to this actor`s house. Masks are even named. The possession of ancient masks lifts prestige of actor`s schools in the opinion of the audience.
Ability is allowed to be masked to the actor hardly. She has to sit densely and becomes stronger on the head by means of the ties passed throughout ear openings on each side of a mask. Eye cracks in a mask are very small therefore the actor can see, at best, public in back rows. He perceives the world approximately as blind people.
Naturally, there is a question - why such difficulties are necessary? Actually, by means of shutdown of sight the special ability to transformation connected with ideally free orientation on a scene when the actor almost blindly feels each its centimeter is reached. He as if enters mystical communication with space, concentrates to full self-forgetfulness on the character - a mask.
But the actor (only the man) begins to be trained in art since six years. In 12 - 13 years it passes a dedication ceremony to the world But. In a festive atmosphere the head of troupe puts on the most ancient mask of the aged man Okin a face of the young actor.
Difficulties of the first stage of accustoming to a mask usually come to an end by 20 years. After that the actor can play roles of young beauties and young soldiers. After 30 years it begins to play very difficult roles of mad women, demons and gods. And only after 60 years the actor acquires the right to play great female roles in a mask the old, but being in youth incomparable beauty of the woman.
A mask But not a symbol, and the material evidence of transformation of the actor in the one whom it plays.
A ceremony of putting on of a mask before a performance - the whole ceremony. The actor carefully holds it in hand, long and fixedly beholds, then strengthens on a face and still some time in full vestments faces a big mirror. It is also that moment when it is completely dissolved in the character, merges with it. Then he goes to a curtain, standing facing a scene, waits for an exit. Also the mystery … begins