(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present Kodo in their program DADAN 2017 in its Boston premiere on Sunday, March 19, 2017, at 5pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA.
Kodo – the world’s foremost professional taiko company who have played a singular role in popularizing modern taiko drumming – will present their program DADAN 2017 in North America for the first time. Forging new directions for the traditional Japanese drum, Kodo will bring a display of their raw athleticism and rhythmic mastery with this cutting-edge and ever-evolving production featuring the men of Kodo in a bold portrayal of the essence of drumming through this vibrant living art form.
Simultaneously raw and refined, DADAN 2017 was created by artistic director and Japanese “Living National Treasure” Tamasaburo Bando. Simply meaning “Drumming Men”, DADAN 2017 features only the company’s young male members and is unique among Kodo’s programs in its absence of singing, dancing, flutes and female performers. Instead, this production exclusively uses taiko drums of all shapes and sizes, as well as other forms of percussion. The climax of DADAN 2017 features a succession of compelling solos, and with each new drummer’s relentless and rhythmic pounding of the hirado o-daiko (big low drum), the reverberations build to soul-stirring heights. The solos then crescendo into a round of rousing ensemble pieces, completely immersing the audience in sound as they watch the taiko soar to new levels. More than any other piece in the Kodo repertoire, DADAN 2017 simultaneously challenges the limits of the player’s physical, technical, psychological and spiritual talents. DADAN 2017 saw its world premiere in Tokyo in September 2009, and its foreign debut at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France, with four sold-out performances in 2012. The production toured across Japan in 2012 and was showcased twice at the “Earth Celebration” annual international performing arts festival on Sado Island. Tours of Spain and France followed during 2014, and in October 2015, DADAN 2017 was performed in Hong Kong — a first in Asia outside of Japan. The South American debut took place in March of 2016 in Brazil, and the 2017 DADAN performances will be its first North American tour.
In Japanese, the word “Kodo” holds a double meaning. It can be translated as “heartbeat,” the primal source of all rhythm. If read in a different context however, Kodo can also mean “children of the drum,” which reflects the group’s desire to play the drums with the simple heart of a child. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has given 5,800 performances in 49 countries on five continents (this figure includes 3,900 performances under the “One Earth” banner). The ensemble also participates in a wide range of projects and events, which includes headlining major international festivals, contributing to motion picture soundtracks, and collaborating with a wide variety of global performing arts leaders.
Kodo’s members, staff and apprentices live in Kodo Village, a 33 acre self-contained section of the Ogi Peninsula on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan, isolated from the rest of the island’s residents. Since 1971 Sado Island has been the home to Kodo, some of the most disciplined performers in the world, whose work and artistry transcends borders, genre and time. In this beautiful natural environment Kodo developed their extraordinary compound, devoted to creativity, education and exchange which includes a central office building, a rehearsal hall, residential building and guest house, a workshop, a recording studio, and the legendary Kodo Apprentice Center. For more information, visit http://www.kodo.or.jp/index_en.html.
About Tamasaburo Bando
Tamasaburo Bando is a leading Kabuki actor, and the most popular and celebrated onnagata (actor specializing in female roles) currently on stage. His theatrical directing credits include Romeo & Juliet and Kaijin Besso and he has directed the films Gekashitsu, Yume no Onna, and Tenshu Monogatari. In 2012, Bando became the artistic director of the Kodo ensemble and was recognized as an Important Intangible Cultural Property Holder (“Living National Treasure”) in Japan. In 2013 he was decorated with the highest honor––Commander–– of France’s Order of Arts and Letters.
Toudoufuu (Composed by Tomohiro Mitome 2009)
Kaden (Composed by Tamasaburo Bando 2012)
Color (Composed by Masayuki Sakamoto 2009)
Biei (Composed by Tomohiro Mitome 1999)
Tomoe (Composed by Kodo 2003)
Ajara (Composed by Mitsuru Ishizuka 2006)
Phobos (Composed by Kenta Nakagome 2009)
Mute (Composed by Yosuke Oda 2013)
Kusawake (Composed by Yuta Sumiyoshi 2013)
Kei Kei (Composed by Yuta Sumiyoshi 2012)
Dan (Composed by Kodo, arranged by Tamasaburo Bando 2014)
Program is subject to change.
Tickets start at $47, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday–Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at Symphony Hall’s Hall Box Office, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA. This performance marks the 10th Celebrity Series performance for Kodo; they made their debut in 1990 and were seen most recently in their 30th anniversary performance in 2011. This performance is generously sponsored in part by Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC and The D.L. Saunders Real Estate Corp.
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 78-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 78 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, the Barr Foundation, Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.