Kodo Presents the North American Premiere of DADAN: Celebrating a Sensational 35 Years, The World’s Supreme Taiko Drumming Troupe Brings Unparalleled Artistry and Athleticism to UConn’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
Thurs, Mar 9, at 7:30 pm
Kodo — the world’s foremost professional taiko company which has singularly played the most important role in popularizing modern taiko drumming — will present their program DADAN in North America for the first time, visiting 22 U.S. cities between January and March 2017, with a Jorgensen tour stop scheduled on March 9. Forging new directions for the traditional Japanese drum, Kodo will bring a display of raw athleticism and rhythmic mastery to U.S. audiences with their cutting-edge and ever-evolving production featuring the men of Kodo in a bold portrayal of the essence of drumming through this vibrant living art form.
Simultaneously raw and refined, DADAN was created by artistic director and Japanese “Living National Treasure”, Tamasaburo Bando. Simply meaning “Drumming Men”, DADAN features only the company’s young male members and is unique among Kodo’s programs in its absence of singing, dancing, flutes and female performers. Instead, this production exclusively uses taiko drums of all shapes and sizes, as well as other forms of percussion. The climax of DADAN features a succession of compelling solos, and with each new drummer’s relentless and rhythmic pounding of the hirado o-daiko (big low drum), the reverberations build to soul-stirring heights. The solos then crescendo into a round of rousing ensemble pieces, completely immersing the audience in sound as they watch the taiko soar to new levels. More than any other piece in the Kodo repertoire, DADAN simultaneously challenges the limits of the player’s physical, technical, psychological and spiritual talents. DADAN saw its world premiere in Tokyo in September 2009, and its foreign debut at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France, with four sold-out performances in 2012. The production toured across Japan in 2012 and was showcased twice at the “Earth Celebration” annual international performing arts festival on Sado Island. Tours of Spain and France followed during 2014, and in October 2015, DADAN was performed in Hong Kong — a first in Asia outside of Japan. The South American debut took place in March of 2016 in Brazil, and the 2017 DADAN performances will be its first North American tour.
In Japanese, the word “Kodo” holds a double meaning. It can be translated as “heartbeat,” the primal source of all rhythm. If read in a different context however, Kodo can also mean “children of the drum,” which reflects the group’s desire to play the drums with the simple heart of a child. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has given 5,800 performances in 49 countries on five continents (this figure includes 3,900 performances under the “One Earth” banner). The ensemble also participates in a wide range of projects and events, which includes headlining major international festivals, contributing to motion picture soundtracks, and collaborating with a wide variety of global performing arts leaders.
Kodo’s members, staff and apprentices live in Kodo Village, a 33 acre self-contained section of the Ogi Peninsula on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan, isolated from the rest of the island’s residents. Since 1971 Sado Island has been the home to Kodo, some of the most disciplined performers in the world, whose work and artistry transcends borders, genre and time. In this beautiful natural environment Kodo developed their extraordinary compound, devoted to creativity, education and exchange which includes a central office building, a rehearsal hall, residential building and guest house, a workshop, a recording studio, and the legendary Kodo Apprentice Center. For more information, visit http://www.kodo.or.jp/index_en.html.
For tickets and information, call the Box Office at 860.486.4226, Monday through Friday, 10 am – 5 pm, and 90 minutes prior to events, or order online at jorgensen.uconn.edu.