Tag ‘Solo/Small-Group Projects’
“Autumn ‘Kiyohime’ Photo Shoot on Sado Island” by Chieko Kojima
Hi, everyone! How are you? It’s Chieko here. I’d like to tell you about the “Kiyohime Picture Scroll” project I am currently working on.
“Kiyohime” is a profound work that I perform as part of my solo Yukiai performances, which is based on the female protagonist, Kiyohime, from the Dojoji Tales. For a year now, I have let that character loose on Sado Island to take photographs backed by the distinct four seasons for a Kiyohime photo book. Photographer Maiko Miyagawa, who is also an official photographer at Earth Celebration, is taking the photos for this project. This work is a collabration between the two of us.
Kiyohime standing in a freezing cold blizzard…
reaching out to a subtle color or fragrance…
basking in the light refracted from the summer sea…
making leaves fall all around with the resonating sound of her taiko playing…
We have captured a special story of Kiyohime through the camera lens as the seasons perpetually change.
Snow, wind, sea, flames, forest, flowers… everything was beautiful…
This photo book is also a collaboration with beautiful Sado Island.
It will be printed on traditional Japanese paper. So, no two will be the same.
Our book will go on sale in Spring 2015. I’m so excited.
For those of you who can’t wait, here are just a few of Kiyohime’s autumn scenes.
I hope you will enjoy the seasons of beautiful Sado with Kiyohime once our work is complete!
With photographer Maiko Miyagawa
“Performance in Doha, Qatar” by Jun Akimoto
Dec. 7 Special Ensemble Performance in Doha, Qatar
Kodo’s First Appearance in Qatar Marks the 47th Country Kodo Has Visited!
On Dec. 7, a special Kodo cast performed at “Golden Jubilee: The TOYOTA Gala Event presented by Abdullah AbdulGhani & Bros. Company” in Doha, Qatar.
This trip was Kodo’s first ever visit to the Arab world. A traditional music and dance group from Qatar performed with Kodo at this commemorative event.
It was a valuable opportunity for us to experience the rapidly changing nation and region right now, as well as Islamic culture and the daily life and views of the people there.
Kodo Cast: Eiichi Saito, Tomohiro Mitome, Kenzo Abe, Maya Minowa
“Looking Back Over 2014” by Tomohiro Mitome
Dec. 1, 2014
Hello, everyone. This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.
It’s December now and there is some snow up on top of Sado’s highest peak, Mt. Kimpoku. However, the end of this year is somewhat warmer than usual.
While it may be a little early, I would like to take the time now to look back over this past year for Kodo.
At the beginning of 2014, “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Legend” set off on its European tour while soloists & small-group projects held performances around Japan.
In spring, we had “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” performances, a “Workshop Performance” tour, and “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” as well as various small-group projects, all here in Japan.
In June, we held “Mystery” performances for five days at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo. It was our second time to give a series of performances there and once again, it was a great success. This time, we were able to deepen the bond between Kodo and the locals in Asakusa even further. We really appreciate their support.
In July, the School Workshop Performance tour members performed “DADAN” in Europe, which featured new pieces in a power-packed programme. We have been running two separate tours simultaneously for some time now, but this was the first time for us to perform two programmes directed by Tamasaburo Bando at the same time. This experience gave both the Kodo members and staff new-found confidence.
Then in August, we had our summer festival “Earth Celebration” here at home on Sado Island.
On the first night, all 32 Kodo members appeared on the Shiroyama Concert stage together. Ranging from junior members to Distinguished Members, this is the largest Kodo cast to ever take the stage at one time. The number of Kodo performers has been on the rise in recent years, but it is very rare for us to all perform together. The newest members brought their youthful energy, the veteran members brought their well-honed skills, and from the rehearsals to the stage, we all had a great time learning from each other and stimulating each other creatively.
It was wonderful to reaffirm our connection through taiko, regardless of generation. I think the audience must have felt the depth of our 30+ years of history through our performance.
On the second night, we welcomed guest artist “BLUE TOKYO,” a group of highly-trained, physically-honed rhythmic gymnasts.
On the third day, we were joined by guest artist “DAZZLE,” a creative dance ensemble, and former “Blue Hearts” drummer Tetsuya Kajiwara. Through these collaborations, we aimed to create new fusions and forms of expression, beyond any particular genre.
In the fall, we had some cast changes before setting off on two domestic tours: “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” and the “School Workshop Performance” tour. Here at home, we held more “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” featuring our veteran members, who also gave performances around Japan as soloists or with small-group projects. Fall marked the final performances in Japan for production “Mystery.” Thank you very much to everyone who came along to see it! Next, this production will tour around North America in 2015.
In November, the members regrouped to rehearse for two new productions: “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” and a newly-directed “School Workshop Performance” tour. On Nov. 20, “Eternity” had its premiere performance on Sado Island.
All of the pieces featured in this production are brand new and a high-level of performance technique and expression is required of the entire cast. Audiences will surely feel first-hand the brand new step than Kodo has taken in stage expression through this programme.
Both of our year-end tours will last for a month. When we are at a theater near you, please come along to see us! We look forward to sharing our new programmes with you all.
I’m sure this is a busy time of year for you, too, but I hope that you can take some time to relax and enjoy ending your year with us and the sound of our taiko.
Thank You for Supporting “Dojoji”
In April 2015, Chieko Kojima will join Taiko Meantime, a taiko group based in Greenwich, London, to tour around the UK with a collaboration based on the tale of “Dojoji.”
Taiko Meantime set up a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund this project. We are pleased to report that they successfully reached their fundraising goal. Thank you very much for your support!
“Dojoji” Kickstarter Campaign Webpage
Taiko Meantime Website
Kodo Blog｜Seeking Support for “Dojoji” in the UK
Kodo’s Debut Kabuki Appearance
Kodo’s Debut Kabuki Appearance
Currently Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Eiichi Saito, and former Kodo member Kazunari Abe are playing taiko in the December Kabuki Program performances at Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo. They appear individually, as a triple cast, in the Kyogen work entitled, “Narukami Fudo Kitayama Zakura.”
Kabuki actor, Ebizo Ichikawa, specially requested for a Kodo member to play a hirado o-daiko at the climax of the piece、so during each performance, one of the triple-cast members plays the drum behind the stage-left bamboo blinds.
Kabukiza Theatre December Kabuki Program
Evening Programme: “Narukami Fudo Kitayama Zakura” (Saint Narukami and Deity Fudo)
Dates: Dec. 2 (Tue)–Dec. 26 (Fri), 2014
Appearing: Ebizo Ichikawa, Ainosuke Kataoka, Shido Nakamura, Tamasaburo Bando, & others.
Taiko Performers (triple cast): Yoshikazu Fujimoto (Kodo), Eiichi Saito (Kodo) and Kazunari Abe (former Kodo member)
Kabukibito | December Kabuki Program http://www.kabuki-bito.jp/theaters/kabukiza/2014/12/post_82.html (in Japanese)
For details & ticket orders in English, please visit Shochiku Ticket Web http://www1.ticket-web-shochiku.com/en/info/schedule.html#1
December Japan Performance Tickets Now on Sale!
Thank you very much to everyone who watched our recent Japanese television appearances: Nippon TV’s “Kokoro Yusabure! Sempai ROCK YOU” and tvk’s “Kodo Eien no Hibiki.”
Featured Kodo Members: Masayuki Sakamoto, Yosuke Oda, Eri Uchida, Maya Minowa, Kosuke Urushikubo, Jun Jidai
Now, please come to see us soon at the live Kodo live performances listed below!
Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity
We are proud to present the third work directed by artistic director Tamasaburo Bando: an evolutionary performance entitled “Eternity.” This production premiered on Sado Island on Nov. 20 and is currently on tour around the major cities in Japan.
[Upcoming Tour Schedule]
Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City
Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City
Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City
Dec. 19 (Fri)–23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City
Kodo Workshop Peformances
Enjoy watching, playing and listening to taiko at our “Workshop Performances.” These concerts are fun for the whole family, from youngsters to senior citizens. ▶Schedule & Box Office Details
Dec. 7 (Sun), 2014Kyoto Performing Arts Center Shunjuza, Kyoto City
Dec. 20 (Sat), 2014 Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Kunitachi, Tokyo
Solo/Small-Group Projects in Tokyo
Dec. 18 (Thu), 2014 Yoko Fujimoto & Motofumi Yamaguchi Appearance at “3 Days with Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble Kodo: Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert” (Kunitachi, Tokyo)
*Kosuke Urushikubo will appear as a guest performer.
We look forward to seeing you all around Japan this month!
Inquiries: Kodo Office Tel. +81-(0)259-86-3630 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Performance at Shinon Kansha Nihon Taiko Matsuri” by Maya Minowa
Performance at Shinon Kansha Nihon Taiko Matsuri on Nov. 8 & 9
A small Kodo ensemble appeared at “12th Shinon Kansha Nihon Taiko Matsuri” for the first time in Ise in Mie Prefecture. We performed at Okage Yokocho taiko turret and on the Isuzu River banks near Ise Grand Shrine, giving performances on both days at both places. Twelve taiko teams took part in the festival and it was a great opportunity for us to see them all in action. I learned so much!
At the Okage Yokocho taiko turret, we were surrounded by spectators on all four sides, and they were within arms reach from us, so it felt very different from playing in the halls where we usually perform. They were able to see our facial expressions up-close as well as our backs, which they usually can’t see when we are far away on stage. It was a dedicatory performance, so before we performed each time we prayed to the shrine, then played taiko with gratitude and respect.
We visited the inner shrine of Ise Grand Shrine, absorbed the pure atmosphere there, and then made our way back to Sado Island.
“Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert” by Kosuke Urushikubo
On Sado Island, it is getting colder and it’s the harvest season now.
Next month on Dec. 18, Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall in Tokyo will host “Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert,” a special performance featuring two of Kodo’s distinguished members: Yoko Fujimoto performing songs from her second album “Yamazu Megurumo” and Motofumi Yamaguchi performing songs under his solo project banner, “Ikkan Fugetsu.”
I will make a small appearance in the second half during “Ikkan Fugetsu.” I am looking forward to performing with Motofumi, who I have admired since I was a school student. I hope you can come along!
Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert
Dec. 18 (Thu), 2014 Kunitachi Geijutsu Sho-Hall, Kunitachi, Tokyo
Seeking Support for “Dojoji” in the UK
London-Based Taiko Group “Taiko Meantime” is Seeking Support for Its Upcoming Collaboration with Chieko Kojima
In April 2015, Chieko Kojima will join Taiko Meantime, a taiko group based in Greenwich, London, to tour around the UK with a collaboration based on the tale of “Dojoji.” Taiko Meantime is seeking supporters to help back this project by way of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Thank you in advance for your support!
Support Taiko Meantime and Chieko Kojima’s UK Tour 2015
Taiko Meantime Website
“New Connections & Experiences” by Yoko Fujimoto
This year, I have been on an array of adventures thanks to the birth of my CD, “Yamazu Megurumo.” Right now, I am so happy to have made friends with musicians on Sado.
I performed with harpsichord player Seiko Sato in July, then in September I performed with Masahiro Isono (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Akira Kato (bass), Yoshie Homma (chorus) and a mystery support guitarist.
I have experienced so many new things and I worked hard with them. These were such good experiences! They asked me to hold regular concerts, which makes me so happy to hear. I hope we can perform together again.
Now, I am in Wachi with my mother-in-law & father-in-law.
I will continue my adventures on Sado, in Wachi, and on my travels.
I’m grateful that my in-laws are keeping well!