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Kodo Drummers Herald the New Year

Ring out those solstice drums, to coin a phrase – it’s taiko time again! The massed wonders of the Kodo Taiko Ensemble will no doubt be hitting a hall somewhere near you this December, as they undertake a series of consolidating performances that will bring together the highlights of their 2007. It’s become something of an annual event, this tour, and tickets sell out almost instantaneously. If you can get in, it’s guaranteed to be one of those cultural experiences. File it alongside your first tea ceremony or your first misogi shower, though it’s bound to be a damn sight more fun.

This year’s performances will include several new pieces, collected under a kind of ‘Trans-Border’ theme. "Even in this so-called ‘borderless’ age, human beings are not losing the things that define us, body and soul," explains artistic director, Jun Akimoto. "In fact, I would argue that these distinguishing qualities are becoming more detailed. In the art world, music, dance and theater are being discussed in finer and finer subgenres. The world Vs. Japan, traditional vs. contemporary, urban vs. rural… but somehow the taiko remains universal." With Kodo away on the international circuit for approximately 8 months each year, he’s in a strong position to observe the notion of borders. However, if only for the sake of a cheap pun, we’d much prefer it if he let the drums do the talking.

The Kodo drummers will be banging away at the following locations. Sado Island (Dec 1st), Niigata (Dec 4th & 5th), Kitakyushu (Dec 9th), Hiroshima (Dec 11th), Okayama (Dec 13th), Osaka (Dec 15th & 16th), Nagoya (Dec 19th), Tokyo (Dec 21st – 24th). For venue and ticket details, please visit www.kodo.or.jp/perf/kodoperf/sche12-2007.html