You know those times when you're peacefully enjoying a cup of coffee, and you suddenly get that strong urge to experience a live kabuki performance?

Yeah, no, us neither, but in any case, now you can experience Kabuki at any time and place with the INTO by Shochiku app.

Developed by Shochiku – a movie studio, cinema chain and production company that specialises in kabuki theatre – INTO makes use of augmented reality (AR) to bring kabuki performances to life whenever and wherever you may be.

The futuristic theatrical experience proposes a new way to enjoy kabuki by fusing together traditional performing arts/kabuki with AR technology.
By using AR technology, the viewer’s current location becomes the stage for kabuki actor, Ainosuke Kataoka, who, dressed in lion costume, will appear on the smartphone or tablet screen by using the camera, and will perform a traditional dance for about 6 minutes.

The performance was captured by filming the kabuki actor using volumetric video technology. This 3D image data means that you can enjoy every detail in 360°, from the actor’s brave facial expression, to his beautiful flowing hair.

The app comes about following a disastrous year for the theatre industry, which in 2020, was severely damaged by the coronavirus. From the uncertain era of COVID-19, INTO by Shochiku was developed as a way for anyone to experience kabuki entertainment.

Following the release of INTO, Shochiku is now working on developing a theatre experience which makes use of virtual reality and mixed reality. This exciting upcoming release will hopefully mean that we will be able to take part in our favourite kabuki performances.

INTO by Shochiku will be available to download for free from the iOS and Android app stores from 15 January 2021. The app is compatible with iOS 13.7 or later, and Android 10 or later.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.