Burlington Taiko Drummers

August 05, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 23/24 Youth & Families season. This is an archived view.

Surging rhythms and dramatic movements: experience the power of the ancient Japanese drumming tradition.

23/24 Youth & Families

Burlington Taiko Drummers rock the Green with traditional Matsuri festival pieces and contemporary explorations of this dynamic art form. Their performance interweaves drum and dance, showcasing elements of martial arts, jazz and Shinto and bears witness to the majesty of nature's Tsunami on the giant Odaiko drum. The ever-popular Shi Shi Mai Lion dance delights children of all ages and brings good health and wellness to those lucky enough to be nibbled by the Lion.  

For those inspired to participate, Sensei Paton will offer the audience a chance to come onstage for a learning experience.     

Taiko (which means "big drum" in Japanese) is a relatively modern revival of ancient Japanese drumming traditions. The drums originally developed in India, where they represented the voice of Buddha in religious ceremonies, and arrived in Japan around 500 AD with the spread of Buddhism, quickly becoming part of local spiritual traditions. Over time, many areas developed unique choreography and rhythms celebrating festivals or recreations of historic events. Today, taiko has emerged as a performing art, astonishing audiences worldwide with a blend of music and various martial arts.

Come to the Howe Library 10-10:30 am for a special event of storytelling and creating Hachimaki, a traditional Japanese headband symbolizing courage. Discover more about the art of Taiko drumming before heading to the Dartmouth Green to watch the performance.

Learn Taiko in collaboration with the Upper Valley Music Center at the Kilton Library from 3-4:30 pm. Participants will learn to play a traditional "matsuri" or festival music while absorbing the sword form, tai chi, and dance elements that inform this powerful yet graceful technique. Register here >

Since 1987, Burlington Taiko has been mesmerizing audiences with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of the taiko. The group estimates it has introduced over half a million people to the power of taiko via public performances including at the 100th running of the Boston Marathon, annual performances at Burlington's First Night, the Joseph Campbell Keepers of the Lore festival, the Black Ships Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, and over 200 corporate, collegiate and public performances.

In 2001, Burlington Taiko received First Night International's Prism Award, first place recognition for Most Creative Programming. In 2002 Burlington Taiko participated in its first tour of Japan, performing a series of concerts in the prefecture of Tottori at the Gaina Matsuri in Yonago. The group has been honored three times by the International Taiko community having been selected as a featured performer at the 2008 40th International Taiko Festival in San Francisco, the 1999 North American Taiko Conference in Los Angeles, and the 1998 30th International Taiko Festival in San Francisco.

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