Kodô: The art of taïko at its finest
The Japanese collective Kodô uses their drums and accompanying instruments to create vast soundscapes, bringing their audience to the space between ritual and waking dream. This acclaimed group of taïko drummers is honouring our city with a visit to Place des Arts.
At times, their drums can beat frantically, as the group evokes the fleeting nature of life itself, a mechanical world filled with automatons, a hypnotic universe, or a raging battle. At other times, their tempo slows to reveal a more textured sound that they wield to illustrate the changing weather, comment on the lives of insects, or reveal the secret world underground. These Japanese percussionists are unparalleled in their ability to strike a drum, making pulses race and echoing the intimate relationship between people and their environment.
An athletic performance
In their shows, both thrilling to watch and physically demanding to perform, Kodô displays total mastery over their instruments, patiently learned through many years at the Kodô Apprentice Center on Sado Island. Though taïko originally referred to any skin drum stretched over a wooden frame, used in traditional Japanese festivals, Kodô reaches beyond folk art to create something entirely different and utterly enchanting. Their music is a mesmerizing blend of the old and the new, inspired by the troupe’s journeys around the world.
While these virtuosos may be rooted in tradition and spirituality, they use those roots to reach toward invention and originality. Their work involves no small amount of athletic prowess: practicing taïko is a physical sport in and of itself!
For many years now, the group has been guided by legendary Kabuki actor Tamasaburô Bandô, named a “living national treasure” by the Japanese government. After the careful orchestration of their show Dadan, he has returned with Evolution. This new show also brings the emblematic o-daiko drum to the spotlight for the first time since 2013.
After more than 30 years of existence, this collective born in 1981 is reaching its artistic pinnacle.
Kodô will present Evolution on March 23, 2019, at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier de la Place des Arts.
Kodô in three clicks
The trailer for their show Dadan
A preview of Evolution
The piece “Honoka” live