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2004.12.6
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Kabuki actor Kankuro Nakamura to take name of the 18th Kanzaburo. Plans announced for the name succession event schedule to begin in March, 2005.
  Fresh from a successful Kabuki production for which he moved his entire "Heisei Nakamura-za" theater (directed by contemporary stage director Kazuyoshi Kushida) to New York to the excitement of the U.S. entertainment world, Kankuro Nakamura will succeed to the Kanzaburo name in 2005, becoming the 18th generation Kanzaburo Nakamura. The plans for the name succession events were announced on November 27.
Scheduled to continue for roughly a year and a half, the commemorative name succession productions will begin in March 2005, at Tokyo's Kabuki-za theater, where performances will be held through April and May before moving on to the Osaka Shochiku-za theater in July, the Nagoya Misono-za theater in October and finally the Hakata-za in Fukuoka and Minami-za in Kyoto in 2006. Besides traditional pieces like “Moritsuna Jinya,” the richly varied program will reflect Kankuro's desire to "pursue new possibilities in Kabuki as far as possible" with the inclusion of works like the “Noda Version Togitasu no Utare” that drew attention recently (premiered 2001) as a new work written and directed by the contemporary stage artist Hideki Noda based on Menka Kimura's Kyogen.
Noteworthy is the fact that the slogan for the succession productions is "400 years after the 1st generation, a new Kanzaburo." The recent announcement included no specific plans, however, relating to Nakamura's strong desire to hold more overseas performances by the "New Kanzaburo" following his recent success in New York. One other notice included in the announcement is that Internet ticket sales for Kabuki performances will begin for the first time with the coming succession program.

* Name succession is the practice of a performer taking as his stage name the name of his parent or master. In the Kabuki world, name succession events are held in grand fashion and constitute a very important program of events (productions). Name succession means that the new generation performer is successor to the accomplishments and acting style of the predecessor. The 1st generation Kanzaburo was the founder of the "Saruwaka-za" (later renamed the Nakamura-za), the oldest Kabuki company to receive the official propriety of the Edo Shogunate.
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