Monday, March 12, 2012

Percussion as Contact Sport: Drum Spectacle TAO Tonight at Schermerhorn

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 5:03 AM

TAO: The Art of the Drum
Where: Schermerhorn Symphony Center
When: 7 p.m. Mon., March 12

Lots of awesome things have come out of Japan: samurai, ninjas, Harajuku fashion, geishas, the most reliable and progressive automobiles in the world, Yoko Ono, Hello Kitty and Pocky sticks, to name just a few. Another is taiko drumming — something you can experience at its finest through this show, a combination of martial arts, dance, theater and acrobatics so demanding that its performers train for years just to be able to perform it. Their daily workouts, which start at 5 a.m. and end at 10 p.m., include a 20-kilometer run, calisthenics, martial arts training and hours of dance, drum, and music practice. During the first 10 years, 400 trainees ran away, and between 2003 and 2008 40 people dropped out.

The result? Only the finest for your eyes to feast on. After more than a decade touring Japan, the group performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where they sold out for 25 straight days, and they’ve been touring ever since. TAO could be described as the Lord of the Dance or Drumline of Japan. Whatever you want to call it, this may be your only chance to see it this side of the Pacific in all its theatrical and hyper-real glory.

Check here for half-price tickets as part of the Schermerhorn's "March Madness" deal, ending today.

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