Yellow Room gig taster: Kindred Spirit by Kagemusha Taiko

Oct 18, 2011, 10:28 AM, Torbryan, Devon, England

What is Taiko?

Taiko, originally from Japan, is a highly-choreographed, theatrical style of drumming, with much in common with dance and martial arts. Playing taiko requires fitness and stamina as much as rhythm skills, and it's as much a treat to watch as to listen to. Taiko as performance is a modern phenomenon – the first group was created as recently as the mid-1950s by a jazz drummer. It is now spreading round the world ...with groups in USA first appearing in the early 1970s, and arriving in the U.K in mid-late 1990s.

Who are Kagemusha Taiko?

Kagemusha Taiko, based in Exeter, has been performing in theatres, concerts halls and festivals across the UK and internationally since 1998. Notable performances include the BBC Proms and the Milan Fashion Show and the O2 Arena. You can see more on our website and on our YouTube channel where you can see some of our previous performances.

If you've seen Japanese taiko groups such as Kodo, you will have an idea of what Kagemusha Taiko are like, but don't expect traditional Japanese taiko. Under the artistic direction of Jonathan Kirby, who founded the company in 1999, Kagemusha Taiko plays their own western-influenced style of taiko. "Taiko comes from the player, not from a foreign country" explains Jonathan. "When we perform, you'll see us express ourselves enthusiastically and with complete integrity. We enjoy ourselves hugely, and we hope you'll enjoy our taiko too."

Spirit of the Drum is the name of Kagemusha Taiko’s spectacular and dynamic stage show, a breath-taking display of stunning choreography, boundless energy and pounding rhythms, combining graceful moves and melodies with power, vigour and unstoppable joy. Playing in their own western-influenced style, it’s the sheer energy of Kagemusha Taiko that audiences find irresistible.

More about the Yellow Room gig at Hannahs, Seale-Hayne in Devon: https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=155438111217984

"Beautifully choreographed, visually entertaining, rhythmically impressive and visibly enjoyable to all." - Rhythm Magazine

"Rhythmic delicacy and gut-wrenching power. Do not miss this highly-recommended show." - Venue Magazine

"Critic's Choice" - The Times #hannahs