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“Heading to the US! DADAN 2017″ by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga


Heading to the US! DADAN 2017

 

We’ve just left Kodo Village for our North American tour of DADAN!

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Sending us off were the newest members to the Kodo family- the junior members, fresh out of the Apprentice Centre.

Personally, it’s been four years since I’ve been back home in the US.

We look forward to seeing you all!


“DADAN 2017″ USA Tour –Kodo 35th Anniversary Production–
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20170126dadan_en.html

Performers: Masayuki SakamotoYosuke KusaYuta SumiyoshiJun JidaiShunichiro KamiyaRyoma TsurumiKengo WatanabeRyotaro Leo IkenagaHayato OtsukaReo Kitabayashi, Issei KohiraMasayasu MaedaKoji Miyagi, Kodai Yoshida

*Cast is subject to change without notice.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Note: This photo is a Kodo DADAN promotional image that features four members from the 2017 USA Tour cast: Kengo Watanabe, Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga, Hayato Otsuka, & Reo Kitabayashi

ANA DADAN 2017


“‘Mystery’ Performances in New York” by Yui Kawamoto


“Mystery” Performances in New York

We had our first appearance in New York for the first time in 4 years. This time, we had the privilege to perform at America’s longest running performing arts theater, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Brooklyn, New York. It was our first time at BAM, but our three performances turned out to a great success!

Photo:Julieta CervantesMystery-Namahage-2_PC_Julieta-Cervantes-ssMystery-Jamai-2_PC_Julieta-Cervantes-ss

Our last performance was sold out, with a line waiting for cancellation tickets outside the theater. It was wonderful to see so many people come out to see our production, “Mystery,” and the reactions from the audience were unforgettable. All three performances received a grand standing ovation, and the cheers and the applause felt like they were never-ending.

Mystery-Hekireki-3_PC_Julieta-Cervantes-ssPhoto:Julieta CervantesMystery-Jamai-_PC_Julieta-Cervantes-ss

One of the performing arts capital of the world; New York. We’ll be back again soon!

Mystery-Namahage-_PC_Julieta-Cervantes-ss

For the North America tour, Namahage featured colorful Kodo hanten costumes.

(Photos: Julieta Cervantes)

 

Howard Gilman Opera House at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
http://www.bam.org/programs

Articles about “Mystery” 2015
Huffington Post | Standing Ovation for ‘KODO’ at BAM
Green Global Travel | INTERVIEW: Kodo, Japan’s Legendary Taiko Drummers

20150127oet

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20150127oet_en.html

Kodo Discography | Mystery

[Purchase on CD]
Kodo Online Store | Mystery [CD]

[Purchase Download Version]
iTunes amazon MP3CD Baby


“Some Lessons I Have Learned from North American Taiko Groups” by Tomohiro Mitome


Mar. 1, 2015

Hello, everyone! How are you all doing?

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

March is here and it is getting warmer and more comfortable day by day. While we are happy that spring has arrived, some of us are unfortunately suffering from hayfever here at Kodo Village.

The “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour started at the end of January and is now over halfway through its two-month-long journey. In North America, there are many people who have been very kind and helpful to us since the days of Kodo’s antecedent group, “Sado no Kuni Ondekoza,” in the 70′s. They are members of taiko groups in the USA and Canada.

Photo: Taro Nishita

At one of the 2005 North America tour performances

I heard a lot of stories about North American taiko groups from senior Kodo members before I had even joined Kodo, many of which are featured in the Kodo 30th Anniversary Publication Inochi Moyashite, Tatakeyo – 30 Years of Kodo - (in Japanese). In this blog post, I am going to write about my own personal experiences. I was last on tour in North America about eight years ago. At that time, I recall that their style of taiko featured traditions that had been passed down for generations and in addition, a new “North American taiko style” was beginning to emerge.

Photo: Taro Nishita

In Kodo’s early years, our ensemble toured in North America every year and the local taiko groups at each performance destination helped us so much and welcomed Kodo with great warmth. Among those many groups, one in particular, San Jose Taiko in California, even let us use their rehearsal space to store our stage props and tour equipment.

Photo: Mitsunaga Matsuura
Recently, both San Jose Taiko and Kodo have experienced a shift in generations, and now Kodo’s senior members don’t go abroad on tour very much. So, one year San Jose Taiko organized a time for us to sit down together in a circle and talk to each other (pictured above). They arranged this opportunity because they felt that it was necessary for us to reignite our communication and exchange, in order to understand more about each group’s history, about taiko, about the Japanese-American community in the U.S., and to discuss the past, present and future ties between Kodo and San Jose Taiko.

When we visited them and watched them rehearse, I was very impressed by their solid etiquette and good manners, such as bowing before they stood on the tatami mats and began their practice. Kodo can practice any time, so we did not create a “boundary line” like that to shift our mindset before our practices. But now, since experiencing that, we have changed our own habits and now we create the right environment and mindset when we begin our practises, for example, by putting on tabi (split-toed socks or shoes). That visit made me realize that they really treasure their Japanese identity and uphold their Japanese culture and spirit by passing it on to new generations.

Photo: Taro Nishita

Pictures from North America Tour in 2005. (Former Kodo member Kaoru Watanabe is in the middle of the picture above.)

Photo: Taro Nishita

Photo: Taro Nishita

When we go abroad, we need to have sound knowledge of Japanese culture so that we can explain it to others, but that is no easy task. We recognize a lot about ourselves during our overseas tours by comparing the differences between our cultures and lifestyles. One thing I noticed is that in Japan we are good at arranging different foreign culture, such as cuisine, to best suit Japanese people.

I hope that the 2015 North America tour members have been discovering and learning many things on this tour, too.

tomohiro_s

20150127oet

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/index_en.html#schedule13a

Promotion Video for Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery at BAM

Promotion Video for Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery at Mesa
mesa

Kodo Article on The Huffington Post

Kaoru Watanabe Interview on BAM Blog


“Another Side of ‘Mystery’” by Otodaiku


The “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour is about to begin. This production premiered in Japan in December 2013 and it has just set off on its first tour abroad. We are really looking forward to seeing how the audiences in the USA and Canada react to this new programme.

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Last year, we released the music from “Mystery” as an album, which captures the work in another unique light. The composers created new arrangements of their stage pieces especially for the album, which we then recorded at Kodo Village.

Photo: Erika Ueda
Each performer took great care to pack each and every sound with feeling. We hope you will enjoy the album, as a fresh look at the music from this “One Earth Tour” stage performance.

“Mystery” is available from Kodo performance venues, Kodo Online Store, iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

【Listen to Track Samples Online】Discography | Mystery

【Purchase Download Version】iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD Baby

【Purchase CD】Kodo Online Store

【”Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” Preview】YouTube

 


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