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Taikoz: The Beauty of 8

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by GiGi GMV (subscribe)
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Event: -
Energetic Taiko Drumming with Exquisite Japanese Traditional Dance
Australia's internationally acclaimed drumming ensemble, Taikoz, presents 'The Beauty of 8' and it will perform alongside world renowned taiko player and Kodo principal dancer Chieko Kojima and shakuhachi Grandmaster Riley Lee at the York Theatre, Seymour Centre, on 23 & 24 October 2015 at 8:00pm.

'Taiko' is the Japanese word for 'drum' and Taiko drums date back to ancient Buddhist and Shinto ceremonies. In Japan, a Taiko festival is where the community comes together and the pounding of the drums summons the gods and repels the evils.

However Taikoz performance is more than just the beating of drums, it is a concert performance that incorporates drumming, song, dance into an art form and it transcends beyond nationality.

The Beauty of 8 centres around a special guest artist from Japan, Chieko Kojima, the world famous Taiko drummer. She will be choreographing and dancing to the beautifully evocative "Cascading Waterfall". It is also a solo performance for Riley Lee, accompanied by voices, metalophones, percussion & dengakuokedo. Both Riley and Chieko were members of the legendary Ondekoza back in the 1970s.

This production has all the elements Taikoz is famous for hypnotic rhythms and energetic performance. The performers will fuse intense traditional Japanese taiko drumming with strong contemporary melodies in a synchronized discipline. I would best describe Taikoz's performances as watching Japanese martial arts on musical adrenaline.

This special program is constructed in three distinct parts Horizon, Sunrise and the White Bird. These three parts will flow into one another with short scene changes separating each one.

Horizon begins with selected verses of Alfred Lord Tennyson's Ulysses, an epic poem that speaks of the desire to explore new frontiers. Horizon introduces Chieko's virtuoso side-on drumming, known as Hana Hachijo. Chieko will be dressed in a beautiful kimono and her movements are hypnotic transforming pure dance to 'drum-dance' within a frenzy of sound and colour.

Sunrise features choreography by both Anton and Chieko. It is upbeat, high energy taiko playing with five drummers rotating around the odaiko (Grand Drum) delivering powerful sounds. Chieko will perform a delicate dance in a stark spot-lit space where no bodies or faces appear.

The White Bird is the third part of the Beauty of 8. In this final act, Chieko dances to Riley's 'Cascading Waterfall' in a contemporary melodious music. Chieko will seamlessly combines her love of movement, sound and rhythm into a unique performance and takes Taiko to a new level of sophistication.

In essence, the Beauty of 8 is a collaboration that highlights the both artists' inner intensity, beauty of expression and synchronicity of sound and movement. It also explores the many expressive qualities of taiko, contrasting masculine and feminine, extrovert and introvert, tradition and innovation.

"The program is specifically built around Chieko's talents as a beautiful, emotive dancer and powerful, graceful taiko drummer." The audience will be mesmerized by the whole production. The Beauty of 8 will be on show for two nights only.

WN readers will receive special ticket price ($15 discount) by entering the promo code TAIKOZFAN. There are also concessions for group bookings. Tickets can be booked HERE.

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When: 8pm
Phone: 9663 5532
Where: York Theatre, Seymour Centre Corner of City Rd and Cleveland St, Chippendale, NSW, 2008
Cost: $70 Adult
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