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“March 23 Named ‘Kodo Day’!” by Yui Kawamoto


Mar. 22, 2017

Our USA tour is currently in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto
Today, we were thrilled to hear that March 23 will be Kodo Day in Santa Fe! We are so grateful for this great honor.

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Our Santa Fe performance tomorrow is sold out. We will pour all the energy we receive from the full house into playing taiko for them!

“DADAN 2017″ –Kodo 35th Anniversary Production– (USA)


“Taiko Fun in Los Angeles!” by Yui Kawamoto


Dec. 3, 2016

Taiko Fun in Los Angeles!

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Hi, everyone! Today, I am reporting from Los Angeles, California.

I grew up in this sunny city up until I began working for Kodo, as one of the staff members who handles international projects.

I am currently back home to support the first portion of Yuta Sumiyoshi’s solo performances and workshops in the United States.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

The United States have one of the largest taiko population outside of Japan, and the taiko culture that exists here is one of a kind.

Everyone who is affiliated with taiko is mostly connected through the taiko community, and we exchange new ideas and thoughts in full support of one another.

Today, I would like to talk about some of the American taiko culture that Yuta Sumiyoshi was able to experience during our time in Los Angeles.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

The first thing we did after flying in was an intensive workshop at the Los Angeles Taiko Institute inside Asano Taiko USA.

Despite the fact that it was Thanksgiving weekend, we had a full house for Yuta’s 5-hour workshop!

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

We had a wide range of age and experience levels, and everyone had a fun, challenging time!

This was Yuta’s first time conducting a workshop in the U.S., and he was able to utilize his English skills that he’s been working on.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

For this workshop, he taught on multi-drum set.

In America, shime taiko and okedo taiko are commonly used for a taiko set, but for this workshop, we used two drums with a closer tone to sing the rhythmic phrases, which may have led to some new discoveries for the participants.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

In the dining hall at UCLA

And I also want to tell you all about collegiate taiko as well!

The number of collegiate taiko groups have increased throughout recent years and there are more than 15 collegiate taiko groups just in California.

The first ever collegiate group was formed in 1990 at my alma mater, UCLA, called Kyodo Taiko.

I believe that my current job at Kodo was made possible with what I gained through my collegiate taiko experience, and I was thrilled to be back to introduce one of our star performers, Yuta Sumiyoshi, for a workshop.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

And of course the session was held in the parking structure of the university!

With so many active clubs on campus, it is always a challenge to find a good practice space that can accommodate the loud sound that the taiko makes.

Hearing the car alarms go off during the workshop reminded me of my college days practicing really hard all the time.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Many groups in the US plays on these taiko drums made out of wine barrels, beautifully refined for performance.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Not many collegiate taiko groups have the opportunity to learn from professionals in Japan, so I was excited to see everyone immersed in the workshop, and to hear them tell me, “That was the most fun I’ve had playing taiko in a very long time”.

Our time in Los Angeles will end with an exciting show which is already SOLD OUT!

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On Ensemble is one of the most respected ensembles in the world, recognized for infusing the powerful rhythms of taiko with a wide range of musical influences from jazz and rock.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Yuta rehearses with OnEnsemble

Joining On Ensemble is former Kodo performer Kaoru Watanabe from New York, to present new material from his album Néo, with Fumi Tanakadate, a multifaceted musician based in New York City, and our very own Yuta Sumiyoshi.

The complexity of the musical groove created by these musicians is like no other.

Several rehearsals have taken place so far in Los Angeles, and at last, the performance is tomorrow!

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

With Kaoru Watanabe

If you still want to check out what Yuta Sumiyoshi has been up to with his collaborations, he will also be in San Diego to guest appear in Kaoru Watanabe’s concert featuring his new album, Neo on December 5th!

Yuta Sumiyoshi Solo Projects in the USA (Nov.–Dec. 2016)
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20161127yuta_en.html


“The 49th Country on Kodo’s Performance Travels: Vietnam” by Yui Kawamoto


The 49th Country on Kodo’s Performance Travels: Vietnam!

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Kodo just gave its first-ever performance in Vietnam! It was a school performance that was closed to the public. We were so happy to see Earth Celebration 2016 guest artist Bac Ha again. 

Next up, we have performances on Oct. 14 (tonight) and Oct. 17.


“Korea Japan Exchange Festival 2016 in Seoul” by Yui Kawamoto


Korea Japan Exchange Festival 2016 in Seoul


Photo: Yui Kawamoto

On Oct. 2 we took part in an event in Korea called “Korea Japan Exchange Festival 2016 in Seoul.”

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

As the title of the event suggests, it was a fun day of cultural exchange with performances by artists from Japan and Korea. We were so happy to have the chance at this event to perform with Kim Duk Soo and SamulNori for Kodo’s first time in 16 years.

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We prepared for this collaboration with only a few long-distance conversations, but when we rehearsed together the day before, it all came together in perfect unison.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

It was a short but really fulfilling stay and experience!


Kodo Appearances at “Korea Japan Exchange Festival 2016 in Seoul”

Oct. 2 (Sun), 2016 Seoul, Republic of Korea

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20161002seoul_en.html


“KASA MIX 2016″ by Yui Kawamoto


KASA MIX 2016

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Rumored to be “life-changing,” this biennial program called KASA MIX is an intensive program designed for taiko players from outside of Japan.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

With the current growth of the international taiko culture and community, the KASA MIX participants have gathered from countries all over the world such as  United States, Canada, England, Argentina.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

When they arrived on Sado, the KASA MIX participants joined our apprentices in their unique lifestyle at the Kodo Apprentice Centre.

Photo: Yui KawamotoPhoto: Yui Kawamoto

They participated in every aspect, from the early morning workout to eating meals, cleaning, and taking baths together.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Photo: Yui KawamotoPhoto: Yui Kawamoto

They took a variety of different workshops from our veteran Kodo performing members, and experienced the great seasonal nature of Sado.

Photo: Yui KawamotoPhoto: Yui Kawamoto

Timing worked out perfectly to observe one of the practices of ondeko (demon drumming) in the Iwakubi community, and had the opportunity to learn an ondeko dance themselves, from the Kasuga community in the latter half of their stay.

Photo: Yui KawamotoPhoto: Yui Kawamoto

And of course, they enjoyed everything else that this island has to offer.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Photo: Yui KawamotoPhoto: Yui Kawamoto

Gathering from all over the world, the participants were able to share with us some taiko stories from their country or area.

The different reasons, history, spirit and culture that each person had shared with us have opened up a bigger world for our young apprentices who had no knowledge on the taiko culture outside of Japan.

As they discovered their new findings of taiko in the world, it looked to me that they found another reason to strive to become a Kodo performing member.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

KASA MIX has come to an end once again with very warm and heart-filling memories through this short time we had together on Sado island.

As one of the staff members for this program, I was very moved by the unification we have created through taiko, which brought a sense of nostalgic comfort to my heart.

Thank you to everyone who participated this year! We look forward to seeing you again somewhere in this world.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Next one is coming up again in two years! To all taiko enthusiasts all over the world, we look forward to having you here on Sado for our next KASA MIX!


“Kodo’s Live Appearance on a Nationwide Brazilian TV Program!” by Yui Kawamoto


Mar. 9, 2016

Kodo’s Live Appearance on a Nationwide Brazilian TV Program!

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Kodo appeared on a live national Brazilian TV program called “Entontro com Fátima Bernandes” today before noon.

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Fátima and all other guests on the show were great. At the end of the program, taiko was an amazing way to communicate without any language barrier. Please have a look at the program online!

スクリーンショット 2016-03-10 10.25.51 http://gshow.globo.com/programas/encontro-com-fatima-bernardes/videos/t/para-assinantes/v/encontro-com-fatima-bernardes-programa-de-quarta-feira-09032016-na-integra/4870619/ (Program begins after advertisement)
Approx. timing of Kodo appearances: 1:00–1:45 / 29:30–33:30 / 51:30–end.

 

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Our performances in Brazil are getting very close!


news20160317dadan

March 2016 Kodo “DADAN 2016″ Brazil Tour

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160317dadan_en.html


“We’re Off to South America for the First Time in 8 Years” by Yui Kawamoto


The last time Kodo toured in South America was in 2008.

Kodo continually evolves, so we look forward to sharing our dynamism and strength with Brazil this year!

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This will be the South American premiere of Kodo’s “DADAN,” performed with passion and energy by eleven powerful male performers. The cast, featuring veteran performers and brand new members, has been rehearsing relentlessly for this tour.

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We are all sincerely looking forward to seeing everyone at the theaters in Brazil. Tchau!


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March 2016 Kodo “DADAN 2016″ Brazil Tour

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160317dadan_en.html


“‘Mystery’ Sets off for Europe!” by Yui Kawamoto


“Mystery” Sets off for Europe!

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As a “once-in-a-decade” blizzard passes by here on Sado Island, the cast and staff for “Mystery” have set off on tour!

This two-month Europe tour will consist of 32 performances in 10 countries.

Please come and experience the world of “Mystery” with Kodo in the unique European atmosphere. You won’t want to miss this production!

Farewell, everyone! And good luck!

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Bon voyage!


20150127oetJan.–Mar. 2016 “Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery” Europe Tour

Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Russia

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160130oet_en.html
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“The Finale of ‘Kaguyahime’” by Yui Kawamoto


The Finale of “Kaguyahime”

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

The “Kaguyahime” performance series in Montreal has come to an end!
I’m calling this just a temporary goodbye to all the cast, including Les Grands Ballets, who we have worked with since 2012.
Looking forward to seeing you all again, somewhere in the world!

To everyone who attended the performance, the wonderfully talented cast members, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal who invited us to be a part of this beautiful program:
Thank you very much for a magical time!

 

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Ballet Performance “Kaguyahime: The Moon Princess”

Oct. 15 (Thu)–30 (Fri), 2015 Montreal, Canada
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20151015kaguyahime_en.html

Kodo Cast: Masaru TsujiKenta NakagomeEri Uchida,  Maya MinowaYuta SumiyoshiTetsumi HanaokaRyosuke Inada

(Photo: Damian Siqueiros / Dancers: Jerimy Rivera & Edi Blloshmi)


“Exclusive Kodo Costume for Kaguyahime” by Yui Kawamoto


The Kodo performers had their costumes fitted for “Kaguyahime.”

These costumes were made especially for each of the performers according to their personal size.
They are so comfortable that they all want to take their one home.

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In the costumes, we saw this tag:

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This Kodo costume is exclusive to Kaguyahime!

 

Kodo Appearance in Ballet Performance “Kaguyahime: The Moon Princess”

Oct. 15 (Thu)–30 (Fri), 2015 Montreal, Canada
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20151015kaguyahime_en.html

Kodo Cast: Masaru TsujiKenta NakagomeEri Uchida,  Maya Minowa, Yuta SumiyoshiTetsumi HanaokaRyosuke Inada


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