Yamanba Kuse Dance Interactive Text

Click on the "music" links to get a score with audio clip

Click on the highlighted words to get a dance description.
"Dance sequence " brings up a floorplan indicating movement around the stage.
The names of patterns lead to illustrated definitions with video clips. Patterns that appear more than once are not highlighted again.

The kuse scene of Yamanba forms the narrative highlight of the piece. It includes several sections (shodan 小段): a shidai 次第, kuri クリ, sashi サシ, and "double" kuse クセ consisting of a seated Kuse A, and the rest danced, that is Kuse B, Kuse C, Kuse A1 and Kuse C1 (the lettering is merely a convenience for identifying the parts). Shown here is the danced portion of the kuse section.

Note, the musical and dance phrases do not correspond exactly to textual phrasing. Rather, transitions and overlappings create a more complex flow so that the musical, kenetic, and verbal units break up slightly differently.

Yamanba Kuse dance

dance sequence 1symbol keystage areas





stand 立ち (fan closed)


forward point-open

scooping point


And then there was Yamamba そもそも山姥は

birthplace unknown, lodgings uncertain 生所も知らず宿もなし

wandering with clouds and streams たゞ雲水を便りにて

no mountain depths unreachable 至らぬ山の奥もなし





raised fan 上扇

large zigzag 大左右

left stamp 拍子

scooping point to down center 正先へ打込

open 開き

Certainly she cannot be human しかれば人間にあらずとて

With shifting form, like drifting clouds 隔つる雲の身をかへ

temporarily transforming self 仮に自性を変化して

by attachment transfigured, a she-demon 一念化生の鬼女となって

appears before our eyes; however 目前に来れども

dance sequence 2symbol keystage areas






body turn-open 身を変え出・開き

right circlet to corner小回り・角へ

take corner角取り

left circle to up center左廻り大小前

when right and wrong are seen as one 邪正一如と見る時は

form as void as it is, then 色即是空そのまゝに

Buddhism entails worldliness 仏法あれば世法あり

passions imply enlightenment 煩悩あれば菩提あり

dance sequence 3symbol keystage areas

backing point-to center-pivot right サシ・正中へ行き・右向き

face front, "8" fan 前向き・ユウケン

viewing fan 抱え扇

lift point-open さし?開き

buddhas, living creatures 仏あれば衆生あり

living creatures, Yamanba 衆生あれば山姥もあり

willows are green 柳は緑

blossoms, crimson, colors' color 花は紅の色々

dance sequence 4symbol keystage areas


music music



7 stamps 拍子

large zigzag 大左右

scooping point 打ち込み

burden 扇を肩に載せ

stand-step 立ち2足前へ

low fan look to bridge 橋掛りへ見

Then, too, she sports with humans さて人間に遊ぶ事

Sometimes when a woodsman rests ある時は山賤の

beside a mountain path beneath the blossoms 樵路にかよふ花の蔭

she shoulders his heavy burden and 休む重荷に肩を貸し

with the moon, comes out the mountain 月もろともに山を出で

going with him to the village below 里まで送るをりもあり


dance sequences 5symbol keystage areas & 6 symbol keystage areas




from up right go forward circling fan 常座から前へ乗り込み

point stamp 拍子

open-sweeping point-open 開き・差し回し・開き

(6)left circle to flute 左廻り

pivot-go to center-raize arms 笛座から正中へ

zigzag 左右

scooping point 打ち込み

At other times, where weaving girls 又ある時は織姫の

work looms, she enters the window 五百機立つる窓に入って

a warbler in willows winding threads 枝の鴬糸くり

or she places herself in spinning sheds 紡績の宿に身を置き

to help humans, and yet 人を助くるわざをのみ

women whisper-  it is an invisible 賤の目に見えぬ

demon, they say 鬼とや人のいふらん

sequence 7symbol keystage areas
KUSE C1 クセ C1




open 開き

large zigzag 大左右

scooping point 打ち込み

open 開き

7 stamps 拍子

flap fan 打ち合わせ

pivot left-look-2 steps 左向け2足左

left circle 左廻り

This sad world, an empty husk or battered cloak 世を空蝉の唐衣

whose unbrushed sleeves hold frost 払はぬ袖に置く霜は

buried by the cold night moon 夜寒の月に埋もれ

When wearied beaters pause to rest 打ちすさむ人の絶え間にも

a thousand, ten thousand, voices 千声万声の

burst from the fulling block 砧に声のしで打つは

It is Yamanba's doing たゞ山姥がわざなれや

Return to the capital 都に帰りて

dance sequence 8symbol keystage areas




chest point-open 胸指し・開き

backing point サシ

go to corner-extend fan 角へ行・カザシ

left circle 左廻り

zigzag-closure (and variation) 左右・打ち込み


tell the world these tales 世語りにせさせ給へと

But think! Is this still delusion? 思ふはなほも妄執か

Brush it all away, everything, for ただうち捨てよ何事も

dragging good and evil, Yamanba よしあし引の山姥が

makes her mountain rounds in pain 山めぐりするぞ苦しき

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