Sections

Taiko group Kodo performing at Brooklyn Academy of Music

Traditional Japanese drummers to put their backs into it at BAM

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

They prance to the beat of their own drums.

The internationally famous Japanese taiko drumming group Kodo is set to play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this week. The group performs a modern take on an ancient style of performance that combines drumming and dance, according to a fellow practitioner.

“To get this combination of athleticism and musicality, you have to achieve a certain level of balance between the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual,” said former Kodo member Kaoru Watanade, a Crown Heights resident. “It is an intense performance.”

Taiko’s members bang out intricate rhythms on drums that weigh as much as 900 pounds. The art form has incorporated more dance, costumes, and storytelling during the past few decades, but it remains rooted in the traditions of Japanese harvest festivals, Watanade said.

“It is like Mardi Gras with festivals around harvests and thanking gods for the harvest or other wonderful things,” he said. “It is about maintaining tradition and maintaining relationships and communication between people and their gods.”

The drums are so large that the musicians must use their whole bodies to play them.

“We have to use heavy sticks and our entire bodies, legs and backs,” Watanade said. “It is very physical art work.”

Taiko drummers typically apprentice for two years, during which they learn to drum and live cooperatively, he said, cooking, harvesting food, and making tools together, including their own drumsticks.

Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House [30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org]. Mar 19—21 at 7:30pm. $25-$55.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Updated 12:21 am, March 16, 2015
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!