classical Japanese dance-drama
Kabuki (歌舞伎) is a classical form of Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for its heavily-stylised performances, the often-glamorous costumes worn by performers, and for the elaborate kumadori make-up worn by some of its performers.
Kabuki is thought to have originated in the very early Edo period, when founder Izumo no Okuni formed a female dance troupe who performed dances and light sketches in Kyoto. The art form later developed into its present all-male theatrical form after women were banned from performing in kabuki theatre in 1629. Kabuki developed throughout the late 17th century and reached its zenith in the mid-18th century.
In 2005, Kabuki theatre was proclaimed by UNESCO as an intangible heritage possessing outstanding universal value. In 2008, it was inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
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