Kabuki Spectacle Premieres On Las Vegas Strip At Bellagio Tonight
Panasonic presents Kabuki Spectacle at the Fountains of Bellagio: Renowned Japanese actor Ichikawa Somegoro will perform a never-before-seen, high-tech rendition of Kabuki masterpiece Koi-Tsukami produced by Shochiku on Fountains of Bellagio in five performances August 14-16
The traditional Japanese art form of Kabuki will debut on the Las Vegas Strip tonight in a never-before-seen spectacle at Bellagio that will run August 14-16. Larger-than-life animations and stunning water choreography will deliver an extraordinary rendition of Kabuki masterpiece Koi-Tsukami, or “Fight with a Carp,” as an enormous fish and turbulent sea are projected onto the Fountains of Bellagio in an epic battle scene.
In a classic tale of good versus evil, renowned Japanese actor Ichikawa Somegoro will play a handsome samurai who falls in love with a beautiful maiden – depicted by fellow Kabuki actor Nakamura Yonekichi – only to discover she is actually a giant carp’s spirit taking the form of a woman to seek revenge against humans for killing her carp lover. The 30-minute production culminates with a dramatic clash between Somegoro and the carp from an impressive 165-foot stage constructed on Lake Bellagio.
Shochiku, the world’s premier Kabuki producer and global ambassador – with artistic partners Panasonic, teamLab and WET and support from MGM Resorts International – aims to raise worldwide awareness for the art by orchestrating an elaborate, high-tech performance unlike anything Las Vegas and traditional Kabuki have ever seen. Water screen projection by Japanese artists and masterminds teamLab, Panasonic’s state-of-the-art digital technology and spectacular water effects by WET bring the historic Japanese narrative to life in a Vegas-style production.
“We are honored to collaborate with Shochiku to present Kabuki in Las Vegas,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. “The Kabuki Spectacle is the largest-scale production ever seen on the Fountains of Bellagio, and we are thrilled about the opportunity to participate in the celebration of this Japanese cultural tradition on the Las Vegas Strip.”
Jay Sakomoto, President and CEO of Shochiku Co., Ltd., stated, “To be able to realize this new effort as Shochiku welcomes its 120th anniversary is extremely meaningful for us. As the one and only producer and exhibitor of Kabuki, we are dedicated to communicating Kabuki and other aspects of Japanese culture to the world, as well as preserving the traditions of Kabuki. We are excited to present this vast and new Kabuki performance with collaborations of Japanese music and cutting-edge video projections on water fountains in a never-before-seen scale, with Kabuki stars Ichikawa Somegoro and Nakamura Yonekichi.”
The full Kabuki Spectacle performance schedule is as follows:
- August 14: 9:15 p.m.
- August 15: 9:15 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.
- August 16: 9:15 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.
The Kabuki Spectacle is part of MGM Resorts’ larger commitment to celebrating Japanese culture and the arts, which also includes a recently debuted art installation at Bellagio by renowned sculptor Masatoshi Izumi and the first-ever Japanese-inspired display at Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
- Music – New music was composed for this performance and recorded by musicians in Japan. As the scene transitions from spring and summer to autumn, the Fountain will display a sweeping art form in sync with the beautiful melody of the Shamisen, a Japanese three-stringed musical instrument. Traditional Takemoto chanting will bring the music to a dramatic climax for Somegoro’s fight scene with the carp.
- Water Screen Projection – teamLab, a group of technology specialists from various fields of the digital society, will be projecting delicate yet dynamic CG images on the vast Fountain screen that are based on original images drawn by Kabuki artists. The beauty of Kabuki will unfold over Lake Bellagio using teamLab’s digital technology and Panasonic’s 3-Chip DLP™ Projector PT-DZ21K, which realizes a brightness of 20,000 lumens.
- Fountains of Bellagio – The most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived, the Fountains of Bellagio romance the senses with water, music and light thoughtfully interwoven by WET to mesmerize spectators. Set within the 8.5-acre Lake Bellagio, which for the Kabuki Spectacle will be transformed into Japan’s Lake Biwa, the attraction features a total of 1,214 fountains that can soar to 460 feet and span more than 1,000 feet.