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Kyoto kabuki theater Minamiza to open 'next-gen festival' with digital tech

Platforms based on wooden decks that line Kyoto's Kamo River are seen during a test run for the "next-generation festival" at Minamiza Theatre in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward, on May 10, 2019. (Mainichi/Ai Kawahira)

KYOTO -- Minamiza Theatre, a venue for traditional kabuki plays, will hold a "next-generation festival" produced with advanced digital technologies from May 12.

The theater in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward opened a test run to the press on May 10.

A centerpiece feature of the event is a real waterfall on stage, with computer-generated images including summer fireworks, autumn leaves, and snow projected onto the cascade.

In front of the stage are platforms designed based on the wooden decks that line the banks of the Kamo River where patrons enjoy the cool river breezes -- a feature of summertime in Kyoto. The system to create a flat floor over the first-floor seats was installed during major renovation work finished last autumn, and this is the first time it has been used for an event.

Organizers will offer a "daytime festival" from 11 a.m. and a "night festival" from 6:30 p.m. Visitors will be able to enjoy a drink and snack stand, digital shooting games, and trying to fish yo-yos out of a pool until May 24 for night festival, and May 25 for daytime festival.

(Japanese original by Yoko Minami, Kyoto Bureau)

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