Japan’s Yamato drummers embrace challenge with anniversary tour stop Jan. 30 at Eisenhower
Yamato: The Drummers of Japan will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the company’s founding by bringing its world tour of “Chousensha—The Challengers” to Eisenhower Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30.
“The Challengers” is a new program created by the taiko drum ensemble as a way to reflect on the musicians’ lives and experiences. “‘The Challengers’ offers an anthem for encouragement to all who face their own challenges,” said Masa Ogawa, the troupe’s artistic director.
Purchase tickets, which are $38 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $28 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.
Yamato’s intense live performances are a contemporary take on the traditional Japanese musical instrument. It’s the troupe’s belief that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the pulse of life and the epitome of the Japanese spirit. The troupe continually evolves the “rules” of taiko and creates more modern and physically powerful performances while maintaining respect for the tradition.
By perfecting pinpoint precision, ferocious skill and high-energy creativity, this mixed-gender troupe of musician-athletes creates an unforgettable spectacle. This tour marks the ensemble’s fourth visit to Penn State.
“Drumming of the highest order on a range of different sized taikos is the staple, with the focus shifting around the stage—sometimes thunderous, sometimes staccato,” wrote a reviewer for CriticalDance.org.
“The Yamato show is a genuinely theatrical experience, delivered with balletic grace and infectious humor,” wrote a critic for The Times (United Kingdom).
Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.
Find more information about the ensemble and a Sunday, Jan. 28, drumming workshop featuring Penn State Taiko.
Watch a message from Yamato.
This presentation is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Diversity and Inclusion Collaborative, which seeks to: immerse an array of people in the performing arts; educate the community about cultures and art forms different from the familiar; influence thinking so we become a community that embraces diversity and promotes inclusion; and ensure the activities of the collaborative have a sustainable impact on the community. Funds from across Penn State and throughout the community support the initiative. The university’s Equal Opportunity Planning Committee provides lead funding. Sandra Zaremba and Richard Brown provide support. Find more information.