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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Our Pick

    The age-old tradition of hitting things with a big stick in the name of artistic expression is alive and well, and will be thundering into Centennial Hall this Saturday in the form of “”TAO: The Martial Art of Drumming.””

    The TAO ensemble, composed of 30 seasoned performers, combines the ancient martial tradition of taiko drumming with theatrical, modern-day choreography, costuming and stage effects. Artistic director Ikuo Fujitaka strives to bring Broadway-esque spectacle to a rigorous spiritual discipline formerly reserved for motivating troops and announcing orders in feudal Japanese campaigns. Expect flashing lights, midair cartwheels and a hell of a lot of banging drums.

    Between international tours, the TAO troupe spends the year training at their spacious home ground in the Aso-Kuju national park on Japan’s southernmost island of Kyushu. Located at the foot of an active volcano, the facility is expansive and of resort-quality, but their training regimen is hardly a vacation. The troupe engages in daily 5-to-10 kilometer runs and a solid hour of stretches before breakfast, followed by up to 10 hours of drumming.

    You no longer have to be marching against the Han Dynasty to hear percussion of this magnitude. Come see TAO this Saturday to let your jaw drop and your ears ring.

    —Brandon Specktor

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