MEGURU (Japan Tour)

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Hear the soul sing.
The colors it paints, the sound from within.

MEGURU is a brand new Kodo production that marks the directorial debut of performer Yuta Sumiyoshi. The Fall 2018 premiere of this innovative work will kick off a month-long Japan tour.

Yuta Sumiyoshi has stood center-stage ever since his very first performance with Kodo, clearly demonstrating his gift for performance, as well as composition and musical arrangement, right from the beginning.

MEGURU means to revolve or come full circle.

The work draws inspiration from a wide range of traditional Japanese folk arts such as the regional shishimai (lion dance) upheld in Sumiyoshi’s birthplace, Kagawa, and the upbeat folk dance of Tokushima, Awa Odori. The programme incorporates verses from Yagi-bushi, a folk song upheld in Tochigi and Gunma, as well as Iwate’s traditional Onikenbai (demon sword dance) and Shishi Odori (deer dance). MEGURU also features elements of Onidaiko (demon drumming) from Sado Island and the renowned sacred music and dance from Shimane, Iwami Kagura.

By blending and reimagining regional traditional performing arts, Sumiyoshi’s distinctive world of music further broadens the scope of Kodo’s taiko music.

The pieces featured in MEGURU were all created especially for this work. The diverse programme ranges from a thoughtful recreation of Kodo’s long upheld signature piece, Miyake, to new pieces inspired by folk music from around the world. There are rhythm ensembles created using Western music approaches along with improvisational pieces. Showing a new side to Kodo, MEGURU’s broad musical scope is packed with experiments like never before.

The work’s eponymous theme song was released in early 2018, well ahead of the performance premiere, to give audiences a taste of what’s in store.

Filled with new flair, MEGURU promises to propel Kodo and its audience into an exciting, unchartered world of expression.


Director: Yuta Sumiyoshi