YAMATO: The Drummers of Japan are bringing a “genuinely theatrical experience” (The Times) to the CCA. Employing pin-point precision, ferocious skill, and high-energy creativity, this very modern troupe of young male and female musician-athletes creates for the audience an unforgettable spectacle. The group of a dozen-plus players start their performance by hitting a Japanese Taiko drum weighing half a ton, made from a single piece of wood from a tree that has aged more than 400 years. They move their whole bodies to strike the drum, creating a powerful surge of energy. YAMATO’s live performances are full of intensity and exhibit great originality and innovation through this traditional Japanese musical instrument, with the belief that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life, and the epitome of the Japanese spirit. YAMATO artistic director Masa Ogawa says, “Taiko’s rich reverberations have filled people with inspiration and encouragement in a wide range of settings. We are committed to preserving its traditions and exploring new possibilities for this majestic instrument.”
The Challengers, or “Chousensha” is a new program created by YAMATO meant to challenge the possibilities of Taiko drumming. The Challengers is created to reflect the members’ own lives and their experiences of challenging their own limits. “Most of all,” writes Masa Ogawa, “The Challengers offers an anthem for encouragement to all who face their own challenges.”
YAMATO teamed up with international fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto to create costumes for “Choushensha.” YAMATO was inspired by Yamamoto’s “limitless spirit of challenge,” notes Ogawa. By wearing his designs, “we are able to refine our spirit even further and stimulate our challenging spirit.”
Considered innovators of Taiko drumming, YAMATO continually evolves Taiko’s “rules” and creates more modern and physically powerful performances while maintaining respect for the tradition. Notably, YAMATO broke from Taiko’s long-standing patriarchy and has always included women in the troupe. And while the members train rigorously, beginning each day with a 10km run and weight training, Yamato imbues each performance with joy and a sense of fun, breaking from the stereotypical stoicism associated with this ancient art form.
PRE-PERFORMANCE LECTURE AND RECEPTION
Join us for a complimentary Sake and Sushi reception along with a pre-performance lecture before Yamato Drummers. The Hudson Museum is pulling some interesting Japanese art pieces to have on display. Thanks to Oriental Jade for sponsoring the reception and to Stuart Marrs for conducting the lecture. 6pm Thursday, Jan. 18. Show at 7. Tickets still available!
Orchestra: $34 | Balcony: $29 | K-12 Student: $10 | All fees included
Group discount of 15% on parties of 8 or more!
To purchase student tickets please call 207.581.1755. Student prices are not available on-line. Click for details
Founded in 1993 in Japan’s Nara Prefecture and presently based in Asuka Village, said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture, YAMATO travels all over the word with Japan’s traditional Taiko drums, putting its very souls into the unusual instruments, whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere. Over the past 10 years, the troupe has performed in 51 countries and regions, giving 3,500 performances for nearly half a million people. They travel with about 40 Taiko drums, ranging in size from 10kg to 400kg. The troupe lives within the Village and engages in daily strength training, instrument practice, and program rehearsal. Always evolving the potential while respecting the tradition, YAMATO is a modern and relevant ambassador for Taiko drumming and for the Japanese culture from which it derives.