Zeami Motokiyo and the inner space

What in Zeami's Treatises resonated most profoundly with our own precepts was his ceaseless struggle to bring to life the relationship between inner inspiration and outer expression.

This articulates itself on a number of different levels. Confronting the mystery of our spiritual and physical existence he states definitely that "the essentials of our art lie in the spirit" and insists that "there is nothing else involved but to 'understand the No' with ones very being".

At the level of practical technique, following from his observations about the precedence of Internalisation and the dangers of "mere" "externalisation" and his instruction that "an actor must learn to truly 'become' the object of his performance after which he can use his skills to depict the role", he gives a proportional guide to the dynamic of this inner/outer relationship: "What is felt in the heart is ten, what appears in movement seven".

Furthermore he elaborates the relationship between voice and movement ('chant' and 'dance') in a similar vein: "first communicate by ear then by sight". There are numerous other observations which illuminate this dialectic. In his description of the three basic roles the variations in the dynamic between inner and outer movement are configured like an interweaving dance of different qualities.