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Subject

: Arts & Humanities » Performance Arts
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: Toronto Public Library

Category: Performance Arts, Toronto Public Library

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Kabuki is a performing art that combines music, dance, pantomime, song, drama and comedy. In the early 1600s kabuki emerged from traditional Japanese classical theatre and puppet show traditions, incorporating elements of both.

While classical plays are quiet, refined and slow-paced, kabuki is full of spirited action and outsized emotions. Kabuki plays portray characters from Japanese history, legend and folk tales. Great heroes, beautiful princesses, evil spirits, loyal retainers, vengeful warriers and benevolent lords populate the stage. These stories have continued to grip the Japanese imagination, embodying as they do the much-valued ideals of loyalty, courage and strength.

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Opera Atelier holds a unique place in the North American theatre community, producing opera, ballet and drama performances that draw upon the aesthetics and ideals of the 17th and 18th centuries. Featuring acclaimed international soloists, period ballet (Artists of Atelier Ballet), original instruments, elaborate stage décor, exquisite costumes and most importantly, an imaginative energy, Toronto-based Opera Atelier has attained international recognition.

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The circus is a theatrical spectacle that is international in scope and appeals to all ages. With a cast of performers including acrobats and jugglers, aerialists, equestrians, clowns, wild animals and sideshows, the circus is the United Nations of popular entertainment. Thrilling to some and terrifying to others, it has the ability to overwhelm, delight and inspire. This exhibition features an array of images that range from the lavish and decorative designs of the late 19th century to the gritty social realism of the early 20th century. The photographs, posters, artist prints, illustrated books, and heralds from the Toronto Public Library’s collections bear witness to changing cultural values.

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About the Collection If you love the performing arts, you'll want to visit the fifth floor of the Toronto Reference Library , home of the Performing Arts Centre . It's a diverse collection of material and services devoted to theatre, music, film, television and dance. This includes the Bill Glassco Collection of original manuscripts from Tarragon's founding director, and early scripts from some of Canada's leading playwrights. To see more of our theatre collection materials online check out these other virtual exhibits: Also, visit the Canadian Theatre Record which contains many items from the Performing Arts Centre. To explore other Toronto Public Library virtual exhibits, click here .

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