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TAO: The Art of the Drum 

When: Mon., March 12, 7 p.m. 2012
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. You can experience taiko drumming at its finest through “TAO: The Art of the Drum.” A combination of martial arts, dance, theater and acrobatics, TAO requires that its performers train for years to perform this show. 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 have 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 of its theatrical and hyper-real glory.
— Cayla Mackey

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