Canada’s pre-eminent taiko group Nagata Shachu celebrate 20-year anniversary with their 2018/2019 season kick-off ‘Rhythm, Stories, Movement’: A new presentation, featuring acclaimed Toronto author and storyteller Rui Umezawa and Toronto contemporary dancers Noriko Kusama and Yuichiro Inoue.
‘Rhythm, Stories, Movement’ seamlessly combines the timeless art forms of drumming, storytelling and dance: Stories, both traditional and contemporary, are brought to life with the music of taiko drums, bamboo flute and shamisen, and are interpreted through solo dance works. Theatrical lighting design is by Chris Malkowski.
Toronto novelist, storyteller, essayist, children and young adult writer Rui Umezawa’s latest book, ‘Strange Light Afar: Tales of the Supernatural from Old Japan,’ (Groundwood Books) was listed as one of the best books of 2015 by the CBC and his first novel ‘The Truth About Death and Dying’ (Doubleday, 2002) was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. His essays, short fiction and memoirs have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Descant Magazine and more.
Dancer, choreographer Noriko Kusama was born in Japan and trained in ballet and contemporary at the Uchibori dance studio in her hometown Niigata. She choreographed and performed her first duet at Toronto’s fFIDA dance festival in 2005. She began to work in collaboration with Robert Desrosiers in 2007 and performed ‘Take Ito Kawa’ at Your Dance Festival in 2016.
Company dancer (13th season) and teacher at Toronto Dance Theatre, Yuichiro Inoue is originally from Japan. At 15, he began training at the John Cranko Ballet School in Stuttgart, Germany and went on to perform at many historic German theatres/opera houses, before moving to Toronto for the Teacher Training Program at The National Ballet School of Canada (Royal Academy of Dance status). Inoue has taught for top schools and companies throughout Canada and Japan, and his choreography commissioned for film, festivals and international competitions.
Taiko master and artistic director Kiyoshi Nagata states, “Nagata Shachu’s 20th anniversary season opener ‘Rhythm, Stories and Movement’ brings together artists from a variety of disciplines to create a new powerful experience. We are thrilled to be working with long time supporter, author and storyteller Rui Umezawa, as well as two accomplished, dynamic contemporary dancers Noriko Kusama and Yuichiro Inoue.
“Through spoken word, movement and taiko music, the first half of the program features two famous stories from Japanese folklore. The second half dramatically and poignantly speaks to issues of identity, racism and discrimination. We hope audiences will be moved.”
Front Orchestra (Rows BB-G); Adult, $37.00 and Student/Senior, $20.00.
Back Orchestra (Rows AA & H-P); Adult, $32.00 and Student/Senior, $20.00.
In person; Hart House Box Office, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, ON, M5S 3H3.
MORE INFO: http://nagatashachu.com.
Nagata Shachu members performing in this concert are Kiyoshi Nagata (director, master soloist, taiko, shinobue/flute), Aki Takahashi (taiko, shamisen, vocals), Tony Nguyen (taiko), Jason Huang (taiko), Andrew Siu (taiko), and Naoya Kobayashi (taiko).
Nagata Shachu has toured extensively and played rare and unusual collaborations with artists including the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Arts in the Parks initiative, world/roots ensemble DRUMHAND, Japan’s acclaimed taiko, kokyu and shinobue virtuoso Shogo Yoshii (formerly of Kodo drummers), Juno nominated Toronto Tabla Ensemble, co-founder and principal dancer of Japan’s Kodo drummers Chieko Kojima, renowned blues artists Ken Yoshioka and multi-Juno Award winner Julian Fauth and most recently internationally renowned shamisen master, Japan’s Masahiro Nitta.
Kiyoshi Nagata is Canada’s pre-eminent taiko soloist, whose career spans over three decades. His principal studies were with ‘Kodo’ in Japan and Daihachi Oguchi (artistic director of Suwa Daiko). In 1998, he founded Nagata Shachu. He also teaches at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Since forming in 1998 and while rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, Nagata Shachu’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music (through concerts and workshops) that creates a new voice for Taiko. Taking its name from founder Kiyoshi Nagata and ‘shachu’ (old term for a performing troupe), Nagata Shachu has toured throughout Canada, the USA and Europe, and has previously released six CDs of original music (latest; Hymus Road, 2013), and four DVDs (latest; Toronto Taiko Tales, 2017).
Event Type: Performance
Organiser: Nagata Shachu
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Time: 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM
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Al Green Theatre