Kabuki - Heron Maiden, 1920s
This is an Onnagata (male performer) as the Heron Maiden. The Heron Maiden is a narrative dance performed originally in the classical Noh Theatre. It was adapted for Kabuki in 1760.
“In the darkness of night a white heron perches on a frozen lake. She is the haunting spirit of a girl who died of a broken heart, her soul too restless to ascend to heaven. Memories of love, passion, jealousy and the torment of hell are conjured by the dancer.”