Australia’s internationally acclaimed drumming ensemble, Taikoz, explore the immersive qualities of the Japanese taiko in their stunning production, The Beauty of 8, which is touring to Port Macquarie, Penrith, Canberra, Newcastle and Sydney this July.
In The Beauty of 8, Taikoz contrasts masculine and feminine, extrovert and introvert, tradition and innovation. ‘The Beauty of 8’ refers to the mesmerising shapes and movements that are synonymous with the flamboyant yokouchi (side-on) style of taiko playing. The result is a spectacular combination of infectious rhythms, soaring melodies, lavish costumes and huge drums.
Joining Taikoz for The Beauty of 8 is special guest artist, direct from Japan, Chieko Kojima, who is a Distinguished Member of KODO, one of the world’s leading taiko ensembles. Trained as a dancer, Kojima seamlessly combines her love of movement, sound and rhythm into an exquisite performance that effortlessly crosses between dance and music.
The Beauty of 8 also features Riley Lee, shakuhachi Grand Master, whose relationship with Kojima extends back to the 1970s when they were both members of the legendary taiko ensemble, Ondekoza.
With new music composed by Taikoz, The Beauty of 8 is a spectacular collaboration that highlights the artists’ inner intensity, beauty of expression and synchronicity of sound and movement in a performance that is not to be missed.
“We’re really thrilled to be taking The Beauty Of 8 on the road,” says Artistic Director, Ian Cleworth. “It’s a spectacular production that pulsates with energy, balancing the Yin and Yang through the mystical vibrations of Chieko’s Shinto-inspired dance and Riley’s unearthly shakuhachi – and not to mention the sonic boom of our six Odaiko Grand Drums!
“Add in Anton Lock’s uber-rhythmic percussion vocals, and a cinematic electronica score by John Cleworth, The Beauty Of 8 is an irresistible combination that we’re sure will resonate – literally – with our audiences!”
Taikoz has developed an international reputation for vibrant performances that couple explosive energy and extreme dynamism with refinement and grace. From the most delicate melodies of the shakuhachi to the thunderous impact of the odaiko, Taikoz is at once meditative and free-spirited, primal and dramatic.
Taikoz perform on the stages of Australia’s finest concert halls, as well having performed in leading theatres and concert halls worldwide including in Japan, France, Thailand, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and India.
Taikoz has collaborated with artists and companies as diverse as the Bell Shakespeare Company, the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, taiko greats Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Yoko Fujimoto, Eitetsu Hayashi, Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe, as well as distinguished choreographers Meryl Tankard and Anandavalli.
Taikoz will present The Beauty of 8 at The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie (19 July); The Joan, Penrith (20 July); Canberra Theatre Centre (25 July); Civic Theatre, Newcastle (26 July); and NIDA Parade Theatre, Sydney (27 July). For more information, visit: www.taikoz.com for details.
Image: Taikoz – photo by Leo Bonne