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Friday, Sept. 14, 2007

Taiko therapy


Mickey Hart, former Grateful Dead drummer, thinks Japanese drum troupe Kodo are "like a hot spring." He's right, and not just because "they make people feel good," as he explains. They also both involve views of seminaked people, both make you sweat, and both have been known to induce a not entirely disagreeable state of lightheadedness, if for different reasons.

Kodo drummers
Kodo take their deafening drums on the road.

Kodo consist of up to 24 performers who bound around on stage — often in loin cloths — while unleashing a primal, trance-inducing thunder from their taiko drums. They are currently in the midst of their national Kodo One Earth tour and will be stopping at Shibuya's C.C. Lemon Hall for just one performance on Sept. 21.

Formed 26 years ago on Sado Island, Kodo have been credited with reinventing the traditional Japanese drum — the taiko — for modern audiences. With teams of players to create a wall-of-sound effect, and skillful incorporation of traditional dance and vocal performance, they have won fans throughout Japan and around the world.

After the Shibuya gig, Kodo will perform at Atsugi-shi Bunka Kaikan, Kanagawa Prefecture on Sept. 24 and Green Hall, Sagamiono, Kanagawa Prefecture on Sept. 26 before moving north for shows in Hokkaido in October and northern Honshu in November.

Tickets for the Shibuya performance are available from Ticket Pia. Information about other venues is at www.kodo.or.jp.



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