Her heart pound­ing to the beat, Serene Tseng ex­plores how the Yam­ato drum­mers give tempo to the rhythm of life.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

The Yam­ato drum­mers give tempo to the rhythm of life.

With beats so pow­er­ful they re­ver­ber­ate through the body like a sec­ond pulse, Yam­ato is more than just a group of mu­si­cians — it’s a drum­ming troupe that in­fuses its shows with mu­sic, dance, and in­tense emo­tions. The drum­mers per­form ex­clu­sively with the clas­sic taiko drum, com­bin­ing tra­di­tional Ja­panese tech­niques with Yam­ato’s own mod­ern aes­thet­ics and en­er­getic chore­og­ra­phy. Their name alone lends a clue to their phi­los­o­phy: Just as Ja­pan was once known as Yam­ato, the troupe’s mu­sic pro­vides a link be­tween the an­cient and the mod­ern.

The taiko drum has a sto­ried history of its own, as well as a mytho­log­i­cal ori­gin in Ja­panese folk­lore, which likens it to the heart­beat of life. This is bet­ter un­der­stood through the words of Yam­ato’s artis­tic di­rec­tor, Masa Ogawa: “The taiko beat is sooth­ing, for it is the sound of Ja­pan it­self.” And in­deed, the heart-thump­ing rhythms are wildly pop­u­lar world­wide, so much so that Yam­ato al­ready has nu­mer­ous world tours and more than 2,500 per­for­mances un­der its belt since its found­ing in Ja­pan’s Nara Pre­fec­ture 20 years ago. The drum­mers are so pas­sion­ately ded­i­cated to their craft that they re­hearse for months at a time be­fore em­bark­ing on their an­nual tours.

This year, Yam­ato once again brings the sound and cul­ture of Ja­pan to a global au­di­ence with their new show, ti­tled BakuOn, which vis­its Ber­lin for six con­sec­u­tive nights, from 14 to 19 July, at the Komis­che Oper. www.yam­a­to­drum­mers.com www.komis­cheoper.de

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