Dr Ashley Thorpe

Personal profile

My research concerns performance forms from East Asia, as practiced both in China and Japan, and in the United Kingdom.

Previous research has focused on Chinese xiqu, specifically jingju (‘Peking Opera’), drawing upon an interdisciplinary mix of historical studies, translation, ethnomusicology and anthropology. Recent research in this area has focused on the effects of transnational and intercultural encounters through an exploration of Chinese performance forms (specifically xiqu) in London.

Current research focusses on Japanese nō, specifically projects that take place outside of Japan. I am interested in English-language nō, which I suggest is distinctive from other kinds of nō-inspired performance by virtue of it working from inside the nō form. As the basis for investigations, I have written and performed my own English-language nō, Emily (2018).

I am the co-founder and programme director of Noh Training Project UK, a unique three-week workshop, which, since 2011, has offered intensive, performance-based training in the dance, chant, music and performance history of Japanese classical nō drama.


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