“Lecture and Workshop in Fukuoka” by Mitsuru Ishizuka
Dec. 14 Folk Performing Arts Lecture and Workshop in Fukuoka
I visited Fukuoka last week on tour with “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.” On Dec. 14, the day before our first performance at Hakataza Theater, I was invited as a guest speaker to give a “Folk Performing Arts Lecture” to high school students from around Fukuoka Prefecture. I gave a talk and led a workshop. To my surprise, about 160 students gathered for the event!
I heard that the teachers from the various high schools would like to start introducing local traditional performing arts to their school taiko clubs. So, at the beginning of the lecture, I talked a little bit about the reasons and intentions behind Kodo’s integration of traditional performing arts from all over Japan into our performances, and how we go about doing that. Then I led a workshop for them.
At the supervising teachers’ request, I did a workshop based on the theme of “Practise Methods that Don’t Require Taiko.” Apparently all of their schools have a lot more taiko club members than taiko drums (…can something be done about that?), so they gave me this unique theme to suit their particular situation.
I had never given a workshop based on a theme like this before, nor had I ever had so many participants in one workshop, so I really puzzled over what to do while I was preparing for this workshop. I decided to do rhythm training by clapping our hands and rhythm practice using kuchi shoga or vocalization of the rhythm. We did both of these activities rather thoroughly and the students concentrated hard until the very end and seemed to enjoy themselves, too.
I think it was a fruitful session, thanks to the encouraging support from my fellow Kodo members.
The lecture and workshop gave me a good opportunity to reflect on the basics, while the serious attitude, excited facial expressions, and laughter of the young participants’ gave us a lot of energy.
I really hope that they had a great time, too.
Thank you for such a fun time!