||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
San Jose Taiko Drumming
to Close Artists Series Season
MAILED: April 6, 1998|
EAU CLAIRE -- The powerful and propulsive drumming of San Jose Taiko will close the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Artists Series season on Tuesday, April 28.
The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. at The State: Regional Arts Center in downtown Eau Claire.
For 25 years, San Jose Taiko has performed a contemporary repertoire that is rooted in traditional Japanese monastic and military rituals of movement and sound. The company was founded in 1973 by artistic director Roy Hirabayashi and other young Asian Americans who sought an artistic and musical outlet to convey their unusual experiences as third-generation Japanese Americans (Sansei). Looking to Japan for inspiration, they selected the symbolic Japanese taiko/drum as their instrument of expression.
"San Jose Taiko calls on and reinterprets the sounds and symbolisms of a common ancestry with energy and flair," wrote The Los Angeles Times, praising the company's "varied, exuberant, soft-shell drumming, frenzied hip-hop choreography, and unabashed commitment to fun."
Taiko has its origins in the daily life of Japan's common people. Priests used taiko to dispel evil spirits and insects from the rice fields; samurai used taiko to instill fear in the enemy and courage in themselves; peasants used taiko in their prayers for rain, in festivals, and in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. In keeping with tradition, the practice and performance of taiko requires dedication, physical endurance and harmony. Taiko is so deeply a part of the traditions of the Shinto and Buddhist religions that it can be considered the heartbeat of the Japanese spirit.
The members of San Jose Taiko have taken the voice of the traditional taiko and infused it with the vitality of their American spirit to create a dynamic new Asian American art form. Their style joins the traditional rhythms of Japanese drumming with the beat of world rhythms, including African, Balinese, Brazilian, Latin and American jazz percussion. Company members study traditional and contemporary dance with leading choreographers, and present fully choreographed, theatrically lit extravaganzas of musical sound.
San Jose Taiko regularly performs in concert throughout North America and Japan.
Tickets are $15 for the general public; $13 for those age 62 and over, and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $5 for those age 17 and under, and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, and will be sold at the door.
The Artists Series is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate. The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 6, 1998