OzAsia – Kodo & TaikOz – Her Majesty’s Theatre

OzAsia being an Australian festival celebrating Asian culture so what better way of doing that than by a collaboration of Australian and Asian performers. So fittingly then that Kodo, the oldest taiko (drum in Japanese) group in the world, and who never have worked with another taiko group since their debut at the ’81 Berlin Festival joined forces with Australia’s oldest taiko group, TaikOz who are based in Sydney and was co founded by Riley Lee in 1997.  Lee, who is a grand master of the traditional shakuhachi bamboo flute, had been the first non-Japanese performer to join Sado no Kuni Ondekoza, “the Demon Drummers of Sado Island”, who later formed the group Kodo.

It’s interesting to note that Kodo in Japanese has two meanings, firstly “heartbeat” as well as “children of the drum” and this performance sure comes with a great heartbeat thanks to an immense amount of energy these performers put into their drumming. It’s an amazing rhythm that really deserves to be felt not just heard.
Besides the taiko drumming several other traditional Japanese musical instruments are included such as the fue, Japanese for flute.

It doesn’t take long for the energy to electrify the audience, who certainly deserved an encore after a roof raising appreciation for the unrelenting performers.

Lee describes the pounding performance as “contemporary, but grounded and strengthened by very old traditions”.

Certainly a pity that this wonderful collaboration is only in Adelaide for 2 nights.

Kryztoff Rating   4K

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