by MICHAEL J. OPPERMAN
For 25 years, the Ordway has been bringing contemporary performing artists from around the world to Minnesota through the Target® World Music & Dance Series. Since the initiative began in 1991, more than 900,000 P-12 students have attended performances. Thousands more have attended public performances, participated in workshops, and experienced pre-show lectures, art exhibitions, talkbacks, and cultural conversations that provide a socio-political context to the onstage work.
TAIKOPROJECT is performing for one night only on Saturday, April 23.
TAIKOPROJECT was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles, California by a group of young, emerging taiko drummers. They were seeking to create a truly American style of taiko which blended the traditional forms in which they were raised, with an innovative and fresh aesthetic approach to the Japanese drum.
What is Taiko Drumming?
Taiko refers to a wide range of Japanese percussion instruments and techniques. Taiko drums vary in size, from that of a snare drum (“shime”) to those as big as a car (“o-daiko”). Taiko drums most commonly resemble a wine barrel.
In addition to the iconic drums, taiko is known for its dynamic, rhythmic playing style. Taiko drumming is loud, powerful, and fast, with choreographed movements inspired inspired by traditional Japanese martial arts.
Taiko drummers do not simply see the drum as an instrument, but as an extension of their personality and musical technique.
Upcoming Target®World Music & Dance performances include Hanggai. Founded by Beijing-based rocker, Ilchi, Hanggai taps deeply into the roots of Mongolian folk music while blending it with contemporary styles of rock, punk, and pop.
World Music & Dance Series. Information at http://www.ordway.org/calendar/.