Hermann Escher


Gotthardstrasse 38
8002 Zürich


Hermann Escher holds a PhD in geography from Zurich University. After a career with the Swiss ODA Programme including a posting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, he was in charge of the Swiss economic support programme for Central and Eastern European countries. 1994 he was appointed to the Board of the Asian Development Bank in Manila. 1996 - 2007 he directed the economy, finance and trade division at the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo. Since his return to Zurich and until last year he was a lecturer at the University of Zurich and the University of St.Gallen.


This talk will take you to the solemn world of Noh and to the gorgeous sphere of Kabuki.

Originating in 8th century dances brought to Japan from China, even today Noh is still performed as developed in the 14th century. Noh plays are based on traditional literature and often evolve around the subconscious. A solemn atmosphere reigns in Noh: The main protagonist who is characterized by the mask and the splendid costume he wears, moves in a measured way, the choir chants in old Japanese and the stage setting is strict and minimalist.

The dance-drama Kabuki on the other hand is defined by extravagance, sophisticated stage arrangements, flashy costumes, stark make-up patterns and the fact that all roles are played by men. Nowadays, Kabuki is the most popular of the traditional styles of Japanese drama and its star actors often appear in television or film roles. Kabuki includes historical plays, domestic dramas and dance pieces.

Noh Kabuki