Photo by Takashi Okamoto

Thursday January 29, 2015 at 8pm
Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $69 / $59 / $49

On Thursday January 29, 2015 the Kodo Drummers of Japan return to Vancouver with their groundbreaking new program, Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery. Amidst reverberations like rumbles in the earth, large serpents coil, demons and lions move wildly. They surface from the gloomy dark, eerie at times, and in some respects, even nostalgic…

Mystery fuses the dynamism of taiko expression, with the wondrous beauty and true charm that lie within rituals expressing the worship of myriad gods and reverence for nature that have been traditions in Japan since ancient times. This performance takes you on a voyage to the extraordinary, to a mysterious realm that lies in the beyond.

Kodo has seen a departure from its traditional costume styles and musical direction since famed Kabuki artist Tamasaburo Bando took the helm as full-time artistic director in 2012. The second Kodo program directed by Tamasaburo Bando, Mystery represents a further evolution of the group’s new expressions and promises to transport both seasoned fans and first-time viewers alike to uncharted artistic territory.

Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodo is forging new directions for a vibrant living art-form. In Japanese the word “Kodo” conveys two meanings: Firstly, “heartbeat” the primal source of all rhythm. The sound of the great taiko is said to resemble a mother’s heartbeat as felt in the womb, and it is no myth that babies are often lulled asleep by its thunderous vibrations. Secondly, read in a different way, the word can mean “children of the drum,” a reflection of Kodo’s desire to play the drums simply, with the heart of a child. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has given over 3700 performances on all five continents, spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third rehearsing and preparing new material at their home base on Sado Island.