Update from Asakusa
From July Issue of Japanese Monthly Newsletter “Kodo”
In June, thanks to the cooperation of many locals and numerous others we held five successful performances in Asakusa. Thank you for your support, everyone!
Just like last year, this year there was an array of stalls from shops in Taito Ward set up in the lobby. This kind of lobby setup is unusual on a Kodo tour and quite unique to our Asakusa performances. The shop clerks wore matching happi (workman’s coats) and their presence made the theater atmosphere very lively.
On the first floor, we had an exhibition and also set up a corner where people could play taiko. It provided a chance for many people to play our drums. I hope that the people who had never played taiko before felt a stronger connection to the drums through their hands-on experience.
This time, we also had School Workshop Performances at two schools in Asakusa. For some Kodo members, it was their first time to perform at a school with Kodo. It was such an enjoyable time for all of us to be surrounded by the children with their pure hearts and smiles.
School Workshop Performance in Asakusa
We performed two pieces in front of Asakusa Public Hall in the “Star Plaza” (Walk of Fame) area. Before we performed outside, I went around the locals to let them know we would be doing this and they said “Play taiko as much as you like!” “I’m looking forward to it!,” etc. Then, they even came along to watch us during the outside performance, so I was so happy! On the final day it was drizzling, but when we started to perform Yui,, the sun shined on the performers. I will never forget that moment.
Our Asakusa performances were a success thanks to the help of so many people. During Asakusa’s annual festival Sanja Matsuri, the sound of live music accompanies the portable shrines as they make their way along the streets. Based at Kodo’s Tokyo Office, I will continue to work hard in the hopes that the sound of Kodo’s taiko will also be something the locals in Asakusa look forward to hearing every year!
July 25, 2014 Torroella de Montgrí, Girona, Spain
The “DADAN” tour had its final performance in Torroella de Montgrí, Girona, Spain. We were welcomed by a packed audience, making for a wonderful finale for us all. Thank you very much to everyone who came along!
After the performance, we had the usual international-cargo packing to do, so we pooled our strength and worked through it all as a team.
Our agent Isabel, our technical director Martin, and our truck driver Freddie provided us with such steady support throughout our tour.
Photo: (From left) Tour manager Takashi Akamine, agent Isabel Gonzalez, technical director Martin Lechner, and truck driver Freddie Gijsbers.
A smiley shot with the theater staff. After this, we all went cheerfully back to Japan.
The fresh new “DADAN” programme, arranged especially for this tour, has been constantly fuelled by the energy of our audiences in Spain and France, and will continue to evolve more and more in the future!
Thank you all! Muchas gracias! Merci beaucoup!
DADAN Tour Staff
Kodo “DADAN” Spain & France Performances
Article in “SINRA” Magazine
An interview with our artistic director Tamasaburo Bando and an article introducing Kodo are featured in the September 2014 issue of “SINRA” magazine. If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll take a look.
SINRA WEB｜http://sinraweb.jp/ (In Japanese)
“SINRA” September 2014 issue
Price: 1,200 yen (incl. sales tax)
On sale from July 24, 2014.
Performance at Kozan Matsuri 2014 on Sado Island
On July 27, Kodo performed at Sado’s annual summer festival “Kozan Matsuri.” Usually we appear in an event featuring just Kodo followed by fireworks, but this year Negicco, Chie Ayado, and Kiyotaka Sugiyama also made appearances.
Kodo’s performance took place at Aikawa Gymnasium in front of a large audience of around 1,500 people.
Due to unstable weather conditions, the fireworks display was postponed until the next day, but the festival crowd was suitably enlivened by the “explosion” of taiko beats and the confetti that burst out from Mariko Omi’s fans.
Earth Celebration Shiroyama Concert Rehearsals Resume!
The Kodo members were off performing in many different places over the past months, but at last everyone has come back to Sado Island. Our rehearsals for Earth Celebration 2014, coming up this Aug. 22-24, have begun. The first rehearsals are for the opening night performance directed by Mitsuru Ishizuka, “UMI/OCEAN.”
This performance cast features all of the Kodo members, including this gentleman, the eldest one, who is always full of vigor!
This “DADAN” tour is my first time giving performances abroad. Leading up to the opening night, I was especially nervous to see how the people in Spain would react to our performance, but they got very excited, much more than I had expected! So after the performance I was on such a high, which didn’t go away even after I got back to my hotel room.
We receive such great applause every time we perform, but I am not going to let myself be satisfied by that considering my own power right now. What I will do is think more and more about performing and by the time we get back to Japan, I hope that my senior Kodo members will think that I have grown. Then, I want to show people in Japan how I am developing as a performer, too.
I am still an inexperienced junior member, so I will keep trying hard to catch up to the senior Kodo members!
My first performance abroad at Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, Spain
July 23, 2014
Eiichi Saito’s 3-Day Intensive Workshop
Following Chieko Kojima’s workshop, Eiichi Saito’s 3-Day Intensive Workshop was held at the Los Angeles Taiko Institute (LATI) housed at Asano Taiko US this week.
We had participants from all over the world (i.e. Australia, Belgium, Spain, etc…) thanks to the World Taiko Gathering that was held last weekend.
Under the theme of “Hard Work and Hard Play,” the 20 participants put their hearts and souls together for 3 full days of playing taiko.
July 24, 2014
“Dadan” Performances in Lyon, France
It was rainy and chilly, but so many people came to see our performances. They seemed to enjoy Kodo’s sound in the ancient Roman theatre, backed by the wondrous night view in Lyon.
During our encore, we were treated to this festival’s renowned lancer de coussins, which means “cushion throw.” If the audience enjoyed the performance, they throw their seat cushions at the stage. We are glad that they enjoyed our brand new version of “DADAN,” specially arranged for outdoor festivals. The staff of “Les Nuits de Fourvière” supported us tremendously with their warm and attentive care.
We hope to return to this festival again. Thank you, Lyon! See you again!
DADAN Tour Staff
Kodo “DADAN” Spain & France Performances
July 22, 2014
Hello, everyone! Thank you very much for always reading our blogs.
We have just returned to Sado Island from our two-and-a-half month tour.
Today, we carried out maintenance on the small props. We did it with the great care as our way of telling the equipment, “You did a good job over the past couple of months and we are counting on you for the fall tour, too!”
We met a lot of people during this spring tour. We really appreciate everyone who came to see our performances. If you have not seen “Mystery” yet, please come to see it in September and October. We hope to see you at a theater somewhere!
Sep. – Oct. 2014 “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery” Japan Tour
July 18 – 20 Chieko Kojima & Eiichi Saito at
“2014 World Taiko Gathering” (Los Angeles, USA)
This past weekend, we participated in the World Taiko Gathering held in Little Tokyo of Los Angeles.
Left: At the Welcome Reception on the first day. Over 300 particpants enjoy a meal and jam session together.
Right: Presentation about Kodo & Sado Island.
Taiko players from all over the world came together on this wonderful event, and the diversity of bachi bag holders walking around town was a heart-warming sight!
Outdoor events were held day to night; wonderful workshops, informative discussion sessions, and exciting performances created a festive atmosphere.