Posts Tagged ‘bon taiko’

Bon-taiko at WFWI fundraiser

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

My mother organized a fundraising event for Women for Women International at my parents’ place in Bear Valley Springs. More than 80 people attended, and my mom invited Maz, Courtney, and I to perform. It was a grand success. Congratulations, Mom!

Women for Women International is an inspiring support organization for female survivors of war. I learned that women represent 70% of the world’s poor. They perform 66% of the world’s work but only own 1% of the property. Approximately 70% of the casualties in recent conflicts are women and children (UNIFEM) and the forms of violence they experience include torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, and mutilation (UN). It was shocking and humbling to hear the stories told at the event, and after learning more about the organization, Hiro and I have since become monthly sponsors. It was an eye-opening evening!

Maz, Courtney, and I performed at the opening of the event, including bon-taiko, a style I’ve been particularly interested in for the last year or so. It feels like I have many more years to go before I’m confident about my playing, but if nothing else, I’ve made some noticeable improvement in the last year. Courtney and Maz were great, as always!

Here’s a video of our performance of a rough arrangement of Matsuri/Midare Uchi. Thank you to my mom and all the WFWI volunteers who made the event possible. We were honored to be a part of it!

Bon-daiko-inspired taiko piece

Matsuri Aces Workshop #1

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Developing and Refining Movement Phrases
by dancer and choreographer, Rachel Cohen

Rachel Cohen has prepared a workshop at my request for the Matsuri Aces crew entitled Developing and Refining Movement Phrases, to be held next Tuesday, August 24. Although spaces for participation are full, if you would like to observe, you are welcome to join us. Send me an email and I’ll give the details!

About Rachel Cohen

Rachel’s strong proclivity for the arts led her to a career as a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator, earning two degrees from UCLA, and performing and choreographing professionally. She has taught dance at UCLA, Loyola Marymount University, and El Camino College. Seeing a necessity to create national visibility for local dance companies, Rachel founded Cadence Arts Network, Inc., in 1989, which now includes an international roster of artists in dance, music, and theater. She frequently lectures in universities, and serves as a consultant, mentor, and mediator for a variety of performing artists.

Long-term taiko project: Matsuri Aces

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

For a few years now, I’ve been feeling like On Ensemble’s performances would benefit from the addition of a movement-focused taiko piece. The problem is, I don’t have the choreographic vocabulary to utilize convincing movement in my pieces. So I’ve started a long-term project to improve my movement and choreographic skills. I’m developing a series of bon-taiko-inspired movement phrases, a methodology for practicing and teaching them, and games and exercises for arranging phrases in convincing ways. If all the parts miraculously come together, the end result will be a deck of 52 playing cards, each featuring a movement phrase, along with a guidebook of games and practice challenges. The project is called Matsuri Aces!

I’ve arranged a performance at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute Carnival on June 27 2011, as a way-point for the project. The goal is to develop a series of movement phrases and try working them into an actual performance piece. I’m arranging a series of workshops with non-taiko artists with the hope that taiko can benefit from different perspectives. I have a small group of great taiko players joining me to explore the possibilities and I’ll be blogging about our findings here!

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