The goal of this project is to adapt a fairy tale to a movement type performance. The fairy tale I chose to adapt is Donkey skin and as the plot of the story reminded me of the stereotypical Kabuki plays, I decided to adapt the story to this type of performance.
Chiyo is a very broken character. As the wound of her mother’s death is still very fresh, her father turns to her and, in a way, betrays her trust and threatens her safe haven by asking her to marry him. At his request, she first tries to escape this reality by asking him to give her impossible gifts but as she sees he won’t back down, she has no choice but to flee and hide under her donkey skin. In this play, Chiyo also plays the typical kabuki character of the unconventional beauty. Hence her very childish appearance instead of the typical womanly Yamato Nadeshiko.
This outfit is her version of the “moon dress”. This is her more intricate outfit and matching the style of kabuki it is exaggerated as much as possible in order show the opulence that comes with her status. To illustrate this outfit it is ornate with origami moon flowers and her outer coat is quilted with the phases of the moon. To match her very childish manner, instead of tassels on her front obi (like a traditional kabuki costume would have), little plush stars decorate the scenery. These little plush stars also match the way the donkey skin is made to resemble a stuffed animal.
My second version of Chiyo is when she is working as a servant. Her clothes look worn out and are patched over and over again. However, one can see in very subtle places the riches and the real beauty of this character. Her under kimono and the fold in her obi reveals intricate little flowers and the back of her obi is tied in a very intricate way that only the richest wear (In a similar way that donkey skin was wearing an expensive ring to her finger in the original story).