鼓童ブログ Kodo Blog

“Looking Back Over 2014″ by Tomohiro Mitome


Dec. 1, 2014


Hello, everyone. This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.
It’s December now and there is some snow up on top of Sado’s highest peak, Mt. Kimpoku. However, the end of this year is somewhat warmer than usual.

While it may be a little early, I would like to take the time now to look back over this past year for Kodo.

Kodo-5541-Simon Jay Price-ssPhoto: Mitsunaga MatsuuraDSC_0069-2-ss

At the beginning of 2014, “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Legend” set off on its European tour while soloists & small-group projects held performances around Japan.

In spring, we had “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” performances,  a “Workshop Performance” tour, and “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” as well as various small-group projects, all here in Japan.

Photo: Takashi Okamotomystery_asakusa_TO_3213-f-ss

In June, we held “Mystery” performances for five days at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo. It was our second time to give a series of performances there and once again, it was a great success. This time, we were able to deepen the bond between Kodo and the locals in Asakusa even further. We really appreciate their support.

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In July, the School Workshop Performance tour members performed “DADAN” in Europe, which featured new pieces in a power-packed programme. We have been running two separate tours simultaneously for some time now, but this was the first time for us to perform two programmes directed by Tamasaburo Bando at the same time. This experience gave both the Kodo members and staff new-found confidence.

Then in August, we had our summer festival “Earth Celebration” here at home on Sado Island.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

On the first night, all 32 Kodo members appeared on the Shiroyama Concert stage together. Ranging from junior members to Distinguished Members, this is the largest Kodo cast to ever take the stage at one time. The number of Kodo performers has been on the rise in recent years, but it is very rare for us to all perform together. The newest members brought their youthful energy, the veteran members brought their well-honed skills, and from the rehearsals to the stage, we all had a great time learning from each other and stimulating each other creatively.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
It was wonderful to reaffirm our connection through taiko, regardless of generation. I think the audience must have felt the depth of our 30+ years of history through our performance.

Photo: Maiko MiyagawaPhoto: Maiko MiyagawaPhoto: Maiko MiyagawaPhoto: Satoko Maeda

On the second night, we welcomed guest artist “BLUE TOKYO,” a group of highly-trained, physically-honed rhythmic gymnasts.

On the third day, we were joined by guest artist “DAZZLE,” a creative dance ensemble, and former “Blue Hearts” drummer Tetsuya Kajiwara. Through these collaborations, we aimed to create new fusions and forms of expression, beyond any particular genre.


In the fall, we had some cast changes before setting off on two domestic tours: “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” and the “School Workshop Performance” tour. Here at home, we held more “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” featuring our veteran members, who also gave performances around Japan as soloists or with small-group projects. Fall marked the final performances in Japan for production “Mystery.” Thank you very much to everyone who came along to see it! Next, this production will tour around North America in 2015.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

In November, the members regrouped to rehearse for two new productions: “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” and a newly-directed “School Workshop Performance” tour. On Nov. 20, “Eternity” had its premiere performance on Sado Island.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

All of the pieces featured in this production are brand new and a high-level of performance technique and expression is required of the entire cast. Audiences will surely feel first-hand the brand new step than Kodo has taken in stage expression through this programme.

Both of our year-end tours will last for a month. When we are at a theater near you, please come along to see us! We look forward to sharing our new programmes with you all.

I’m sure this is a busy time of year for you, too, but I hope that you can take some time to relax and enjoy ending your year with us and the sound of our taiko.

tomohiro_s


Thank You for Supporting “Dojoji”


スクリーンショット(2014-11-15 17.41.51)

In April 2015, Chieko Kojima will join Taiko Meantime, a taiko group based in Greenwich, London, to tour around the UK with a collaboration based on the tale of “Dojoji.”

Taiko Meantime set up a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund this project. We are pleased to report that they successfully reached their fundraising goal. Thank you very much for your support!

“Dojoji” Kickstarter Campaign Webpage
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/taikomeantime/support-taiko-meantime-and-chieko-kojimas-uk-tour

Taiko Meantime Website
www.taikomeantime.com

Kodo Blog|Seeking Support for “Dojoji” in the UK


“On our Way to Nagoya!” by Mariko Omi


We are currently on the road with “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.” Yesterday, we traveled to Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture for our next performance. It’s December and the wind has gotten chillier, but I felt so enlivened by the warm sun and the blue sky with not a single cloud in sight!

Photo: Mariko Omi

On our journey, we were greeted by beautiful Mt. Fuji. It was such a powerful sight, even from afar.

Photo: Mariko Omi

Seeing such wonderful nature really replenished our energy.

We are waiting for you all at Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall in Nagoya tonight!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

  This production features many scenes were each and every sound entwines, so I am looking forward to hearing our sound echo in a concert hall. I also look forward to seeing everyone there!   mariko_s

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December 4 (Thu), 2014 Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi

【Door Sales】 Available from 17:30 at the venue (Cash sales)

Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity Nov. 20 (Thu) Amusement Sado, Sado Is., Niigata Nov. 30 (Sun) City Hall Plaza “Aore Nagaoka,” Nagaoka, Niigata –”Heartbeat Project” Special Version– Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City Dec. 19 (Fri)–23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City ▶Schedule & Box Office Details


Kodo’s Debut Kabuki Appearance


Kodo’s Debut Kabuki Appearance

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Currently Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Eiichi Saito, and former Kodo member Kazunari Abe are playing taiko in the December Kabuki Program performances at Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo. They appear individually, as a triple cast, in the Kyogen work entitled, “Narukami Fudo Kitayama Zakura.”

Kabuki actor, Ebizo Ichikawa, specially requested for a Kodo member to play a hirado o-daiko at the climax of the piece、so during each performance, one of the triple-cast members plays the drum behind the stage-left bamboo blinds.

Kabukiza Theatre December Kabuki Program

Evening Programme: “Narukami Fudo Kitayama Zakura” (Saint Narukami and Deity Fudo)

Dates: Dec. 2 (Tue)–Dec. 26 (Fri), 2014

Appearing: Ebizo Ichikawa, Ainosuke Kataoka, Shido Nakamura, Tamasaburo Bando, & others.

Taiko Performers (triple cast): Yoshikazu Fujimoto (Kodo), Eiichi Saito (Kodo) and Kazunari Abe (former Kodo member)

Kabukibito | December Kabuki Program http://www.kabuki-bito.jp/theaters/kabukiza/2014/12/post_82.html (in Japanese)

For details & ticket orders in English, please visit Shochiku Ticket Web http://www1.ticket-web-shochiku.com/en/info/schedule.html#1


“Making Sasara Together” by Kenta Nakagome


Before we set off on tour, the Workshop Performance cast worked together to make sasara (split bamboo rods) for a traditional deer dance called Shishi Odori, which is featured in LION on the upcoming tour. It took us two weeks to complete them, working between rehearsals and at night, too.

 Photo: Kenta NakagomePhoto: Kenta Nakagome

Left: The finished sasara. Right: We cut down bamboo, cut each length to size, split each rod into whisk-like slats, and took off the nodes.

Photo: Kenta Nakagome

Then we filed the bamboo and pasted pieces of Japanese paper on to them to complete them!

We are now using these props to perform “LION,” for the first time in ages on tour! We hope everyone will enjoy it!

Please come along to see one of our public performances listed below.

kenta_s
Kodo | Workshop Performances
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20141200koryu_en.html

Photo: Kenta Nakagome

We made this “Bamboo Man” from one of the offcuts. We stand on him to massage the soles of our feet.


“Bon Voyage, Workshop Performance Tour!” by Maya Minowa


Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

The Kodo Workshop Performance tour, directed by performer Eri Uchida, left Kodo Village ahead of the One Earth Tour members. We played taiko as we saw them off, without giving in to the rain.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Bon voyage! All the best with your month-long tour as you share the sound of taiko with children around Japan!

mitsuru_s
Kodo School Workshop Performances
http://www.kodo.or.jp/koryu/index_en.html
Workshop Performance Schedules
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20141200koryu_en.html

▼Check out this video about the upcoming performance at Kyoto Performing Arts Center Shunjuza, which includes a message from Kenta Nakagome.

▼Watch on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWtN5r5BQKo&feature=youtu.be


December Japan Performance Tickets Now on Sale!


提供:日本テレビ

Thank you very much to everyone who watched our recent Japanese television appearances: Nippon TV’s “Kokoro Yusabure! Sempai ROCK YOU” and tvk’s “Kodo Eien no Hibiki.”

Featured Kodo Members: Masayuki SakamotoYosuke Oda, Eri Uchida, Maya Minowa, Kosuke Urushikubo, Jun Jidai
Now, please come to see us soon at the live Kodo live performances listed below!

 

Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

ツアービジュアル
We are proud to present the third work directed by artistic director Tamasaburo Bando: an evolutionary performance entitled “Eternity.” This production premiered on Sado Island on Nov. 20 and is currently on tour around the major cities in Japan.
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20141120oet_en.html


[Upcoming Tour Schedule]

Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City
Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City
Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City
Dec. 19 (Fri)–23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City

▶Schedule & Box Office Details

Kodo Workshop Peformances

鼓童交流公演
Enjoy watching, playing and listening to taiko at our “Workshop Performances.” These concerts are fun for the whole family, from youngsters to senior citizens. ▶Schedule & Box Office Details


Solo/Small-Group Projects in Tokyo

Dec. 18 (Thu), 2014 Yoko Fujimoto & Motofumi Yamaguchi Appearance at “3 Days with Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble Kodo: Gin-iro no Kaze (Silver Wind) Song & Bamboo Flute Concert” (Kunitachi, Tokyo)
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20141218kodo3days_en.html

*Kosuke Urushikubo will appear as a guest performer.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We look forward to seeing you all around Japan this month!

Inquiries: Kodo Office Tel. +81-(0)259-86-3630  Email: heartbeat@kodo.or.jp


“This Year’s Wonderful ‘Nanako Matsuri’” by Michiko Chida


“Nanako Matsuri” This Year in Otsuchi, Iwate

写真提供/民俗芸能STREAM代表:西嶋一泰氏

Photo from Dec. 2013 “Nanako Matsuri – Fuyu no Jin”
(Courtesy of Kazuhiro Nishijima, Minzoku Geino STREAM )

In December last year, a small Kodo cast took part in a special festival, “Nanako Matsuri.” I remember this “homemade” festival vividly: the wonderful local performing arts from Tohoku’s coastal regions, the passion of the performers, and the enthusiasm of the locals who wholeheartedly looked forward to seeing them. This festival cleansed my soul and gave me a lovely sense of peace.

This year’s festival, “Nanako Matsuri – Hana no Jin” will be held at Sanriku Hana Hotel Hamagiku, Otsuchi, Iwate on December 21 (Sun) from 11:00 am. It will be packed with wonderful performances, but Kodo will not appear this time! We hope you can go along all the same!

 

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“Nanako Matsuri” Concert Flier (in Japanese)

The Tohoku area is a vast treasure trove of traditional performing arts.

This festival is planned and presented by Nanako & Masayuki Sasayama, whose home is a performance venue for the local kagura (sacred Shinto dance & music), and folk art professor Hiroyuki Hashimoto. They believe that the folk performing arts in everyone’s hearts will lead the way to the area’s recovery from this natural disaster.

Photo: Michiko Chida

“Nanako Matsuri” is a great festival because you can see an array of performances and it gives you the chance to meet and talk to the members of the various performance groups who uphold their local traditional arts. This year, the day before the festival has been set aside for exchange, so come along on Dec. 20th to interact with the locals.

Just by going to the disaster area, meeting people there, and watching their performing arts, it really cheers the locals on and supports the area’s recovery. We hope you will show your interest and support by going along to “Nanako Matsuri” this year.


Please note that Kodo will not appear at this year’s festival.

◆JTB Tour (in Japanese)
http://www.jtb.co.jp/tabeat/List.asp?Tourno=c94931bd7ced4f1db82e4af5

Kodo Website | Heartbeat Project
heartbeat_project_logo


“Opening Night of ‘Eternity’” by Mitsuru Ishizuka


Nov. 20 Opening Night of “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity”

It took about a year to create our latest production, “Eternity,” and we celebrated its premiere on Sado Island.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Katarai (Composed by Tsuyoshi Maeda, arranged by Tamasaburo Bando)

Sunrise, light, wind, waves, the presence of flora and fauna, rain, clouds, the dark of night, stars, the moon, and then it’s morning again…

The perpetual working of nature. Every single phenomenon in this world continues on and on in endless spirals. Amidst those workings, people are allowed to exist, to live. Every piece in this programme depicts scenes incorporating these elements, all newly composed especially for this production.

When I first heard the title “Eternity,” I was surprised that we had been given such an enormous theme to work with, but as we delved into it with our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando, we arrived at the realization that what we most wanted to portray was “human beings.” It really felt right, and we could all start creating pieces for it without any great strain.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Michiru (Composed & choreographed by Mitsuru Ishizuka)

By using all new pieces to create a completely new stage production, we have taken a big step away from our artistic director’s productions to date. So for us, the performers, it was a year spent wondering how it was going to unfold on stage and not really knowing without an audience to perform before. So, when the opening night finally arrived, the mood backstage was rather different than usual. There was a heavy feeling of tension in the air.

 

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

 

At last, it was time for the curtain to rise. On stage, we could feel the audience’s nervousness and expectation as they wondered what was going to happen. So, what did happen…?!

Well, to find out, please come and experience the performance live for yourself!

Our “Eternity” tour is ready to go!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photos: Takashi Okamoto

mitsuru_s

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Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity

Nov. 20 (Thu) Amusement Sado, Sado Is., Niigata
Nov. 30 (Sun) City Hall Plaza “Aore Nagaoka,” Nagaoka, Niigata
–”Heartbeat Project” Special Version–
Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City
Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City
Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City
Dec. 19 (Fri)–23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City

▶Schedule & Box Office Details


“Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity) on YouTube


Watch TV Special  “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity) on YouTube!

The special programme shown on Nov. 22 on tvk in Japan, “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity), is now available for viewing on YouTube. Even if you don’t understand the Japanese dialogue, we’re sure the taiko speaks your language and hope you’ll enjoy seeing scenes from the performance, rehearsals, and beautiful Sado Island.

 

▶Watch on YouTube

[About the Programme]

This TV programme was filmed this autumn and features one of the key cast members, Masayuki Sakamoto, giving a tour around Kodo Village, shows the Kodo members off-stage & up-close, as well as taking at behind-the-scenes look at the regimented training they undergo to become performers on the Kodo stage.

The programme also introduces “Eternity, our brand new production that will tour around Japan from late November through December, alongside various other works directed by and in collaboration with Tamasaburo Bando in recent years.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

 

 

news20141120oet170

Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity

Nov. 20 (Thu) Amusement Sado, Sado Is., Niigata
Nov. 30 (Sun) City Hall Plaza “Aore Nagaoka,” Nagaoka, Niigata
–”Heartbeat Project” Special Version–
Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City
Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City
Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City
Dec. 19 (Fri)–23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City

▶Schedule & Box Office Details


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