A fusion of martial arts, choreography and innovative contemporary Japanese production went onstage for the first time at The Theater in Solaire through the sensational group Drum Tao.
Established in 1993 and also known as Tao: The Martial Art of Drumming ought to show the Japanese tradition through a series of dance and drumming ensembles that captivates the world.
Last 5 to 8 September, the world-class drum ensemble took its audiences into a whirlwind of Japanese culture, sound and identity through the “Rhythm of Tribe, Time Travel Chronicles.”
The highly disciplined taiko drummers put on a good show for its viewers through the intense beating of their drums down to the last hit, sets similar yet different. It felt like being thrown in the era where their stages were set, like perfect background music through a historical Japanese drama.
Despite the same instruments, new and surprising tricks on how to play them each time a stage is set was showcased.
It was like watching a movie with the same characters and with drums, the overall aura and vibe of the venue and the transition felt throughout the evening. Everyone was transfixed.
After every set, the audience erupted with applause, only silencing when another set began.
Drum Tao’s energy throughout their performances didn’t waver despite the continuous and intense movement while carrying their drums.
Accompanying the drums were the flute, shamisen and harps that expressed how the Japanese music transitioned towards the contemporary as seamlessly as possible, their infectious energy and passion for their art enough proof to reflect the sound of Japan.
All members stayed in perfect tune with one another as if the beats, harmony and selves were one.
How they switched to percussions, to drums and to flute, I have no idea. Drum Tao had succeeded in hypnotizing the audience through their sounds. Two or more hours weren’t enough to fully bask in their unworldly talent and visual feast. Their costumes were designed by Paris fashion designer Junko Koshino.
Drum Tao earned a standing ovation from the Filipino audience, and a well-deserved one, too.
Like water, their rhythm flowed naturally, leaving spectators in awe of the amount of effort and discipline they showed. All performers train like athletes due to the strenuous physical requirements of their performance styles.
Their training includes running, martial arts training and then drums, music and dance practice. It is so intense that within their first 10 years, 400 trainees reportedly ran away.
Drum Tao continues to amaze the world through the fruits of their training. Throughout the years, they have incorporated Korean, Maori and Indonesian influences in their performances as well.
Having played before over eight million people in 24 countries including Spain, Australia, Germany, UK, Netherlands, USA, Belgium and Singapore with their timeless drumming performance, Drum Tao is adored across the world.
They debuted in 2004 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and dominated the globe since then.
Photos by Yummie Dingding