The aesthetics of Takarazuka: a case study on Erizabēto – ai to shi no rondo
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis explores the various elements of Takarazukaʼs performance style, and analyses how they influence the adaptation of pieces which fall outside this style. As a case study this thesis will examine the world-wide acclaimed Viennese German-language musical Elisabeth (1992), which was materially altered in order to suit Takarazukaʼs established style, and became Erizabēto – ai to shi no rondo (Erizabēto – the rondo of love and death, 1996). Employing the existing framework for the analysis of the theatre, by theatre scholars Yamanashi Makiko and Marumoto Takashi, this thesis will provide a detailed account of Takarazukaʼs style elements, and show how pieces which fall outside this style are treated. The conversation on Takarazukaʼs performance style is recently started in English, and this thesis is intended to add to this. The Takarazuka version, Erizabēto – ai to shi no rondo is contrasted with the original Viennese in terms of 1) plot, dialogue and characterisation; and 2) lighting and scenery, and wardrobe to illustrate Takarazukaʼs adaptation process. Upon doing this analysis, it became apparent that Takarazuka has an established style which centres on romanticism, fantasy and visual richness, and that pieces that do not originally fit within this style are thoroughly altered in order to become appropriate for the Takarazuka stage.