Be prepared to feel the energy emanating off stage, as the Yamato drummers launch their entire bodies into striking the Taiko drums at their Jan. 28 performance, held at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts.
The theme of the troupe’s latest tour, “Chousensha” (or “The Challengers”), focuses on offering an anthem for encouragement for the audience, as well as the group’s members, to challenge their own limits. This idea is perfectly in tune with these high-energy drummers, since their passionate performances are achieved through rigorous exercise routines, including mile-long runs and weightlifting. Taiko are a range of Japanese percussion instruments that can vary in size from a foot to almost 6-feet, as well as weigh approximately half a ton. No wonder they need to work out to perform; these drums are massive!
Hold onto your seats as the Yamato drummers perform in “Rekka,” one of the sessions of the program that pitches two drummers against two other drummers. Pick a team to support, and watch the palpable tension and feel the battling drum-beats.
This program will also showcase sounds created from other instruments, including the Shinobue, a Japanese flute made from shino-bamboo; and the Shamisen, a three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument.
Yamato’s intent is to preserve and honor the traditions of Japanese Taiko, believing it to be “the sound of Japan itself.” This group has such an on-stage presence – it’s electrifying. I’m certain it will stay with you well beyond this weekend.