While Maz and Shoj are off on tour, I’m holding down the fort here at home. Things at Los Angeles Taiko Institute have been fantastic, and I’m pleased to announce that Suzuki Sensei will be coming to the Institute this month to teach an intensive on Shishi Mai (lion dance) and the accompanying music in a workshop on fue (flute) and a workshop on taiko. A number of us will be taking all three. We’re really excited!
Suzuki Sensei’s lion dance emphasizes the cat-like nature of the shishi, with a full range of gestures from high energy hopping and lunging, to licking the fur and napping. In short, we love Suzuki Sensei’s shishi mai! He’s also an amazing musician and accomplished flutist. Maz and Shoj studied flute with Suzuki Sensei, and he performs regularly with Kenny Endo and other taiko greats.
Yuta and the other LATI staff and I will be making practice lion masks for the participants of the two-day intensive, where Suzuki Sensei will give 12 hours of instruction. We plan to make this the beginning of an ongoing relationship with Suzuki Sensei, with annual visits to help us improve our shishi mai and musicality. Join us and start learning from the beginning!