Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed Wednesday 19 September 2012
Japan's Kodo, the world's oldest taiko (drum) group, has joined forces with Australia's celebrated TaikOz, marking their first ever collaboration with another taiko group. The result is a resounding success, as both troupes erupt onto Her Majesty's stage in a ferocious explosion of sound.
Featuring a joint ensemble of 17 artists, traditional music meets modern interpretations, where drummers become singers, dancers and even dabble in acrobatics. Wind and string instruments accompany the drums, while chanting and songs add an extra dimension to some of the more meditative pieces.
The drums fill the stage, ranging from traditional hirado-daiko drums to a modern drum kit. The mixed cast of men and women attack them with muscle-rippling intensity, every movement choreographed like a well oiled dance troupe.
The show is not just about intensity however. In one number we're shown the flip side of drumming as a woman in a flowing red kimono demonstrates how graceful it can be. There are beautiful moments of peaceful reflection featuring chanting or flutes and a traditional Japanese koto. TaikOz co-founder Riley Lee also features on a shakuhachi bamboo flute throughout the show.
With only two performances in the OzAsia Festival, many would have missed this uplifting celebration of energy, comedy and beauty. It truly was remarkable.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Her Majesty's Theatre, Grote Street, Adelaide
Duration: 2 hours