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A ba () is a large section of a noh play. Each ba may be further subdivided into smaller sections called dan. Noh plays can be divided into one, two or, in some less frequent cases, three acts called ba. The beginning and ending of a ba does not necessarily depend on the development of the story, or on a change in the place or time setting of the action, but simply by the entrance and/or exit of the shite, or in some cases of the waki. A recurrent dramaturgical pattern has a play composed of two ba. In the mae-ba (first ba) of typical dream plays (mugen nō), the shite, appears in disguise. The mae-ba ends when the shite, here called mae-shite exits. This action is called naka-iri (lit. 'go inside'). After the naka-iri it is customary that a kyogen actor appears and performs an interlude as the shite changes the costume and gets ready for the second ba or nochi-ba, which begins with the nochi-shite appearing on stage in its true form. For plays in real time (genzai nō), the second act may indicate a shift of place or players.


Noh Kyogen