Danmari means to be silent or a person who rarely talks. In Kabuki, danmari is a type of wordless pantomime where a group of characters perform a battle. The word literally means, “fight in the dark,” and the battle involves characters fighting with only their hands on a darkened stage. The danmari is used to introduce the actors of a troupe to the audience. It does not usually have significant plot development and often contains no plot at all. There are two main types of danmari – historical and domestic. Danmari can be choreographed in two ways. The first, sewa danmari, is highly choreographed. An important object is passed between characters until the final pose. In the second type, jidai danmari, actors remain silent although there is musical accompaniment.
KABUKI ENCYCLOPEDIA by SAMUEL L. LEITER
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