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Midnight Taiko in Concert

A year in the making: Midnight Taiko in Concert was a sound success!

What began as an idea to celebrate Midnight’s tenth anniversary, came to life on stage at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks theatre in 2018! It took a few years to get the project off the ground, and then another year of planning, but Midnight’s first stage concert was sold out and a great success. 

 

From my message as Artistic Director inside the concert program:

Tonight’s concert is the first of its kind, as Midnight Taiko traditionally performs in outdoor festivals and events in the Calgary area. The performers you see tonight have challenged themselves to work together to create a full performance for the first time, that showcases the strengths of our group, and some of the many appearances of taiko. We are people who come from different backgrounds, represent different age groups, come from different career paths and worlds, and we all come together to share our passion for the art of taiko.

Tonight’s performance will premiere an original work, composed by one of our own members, Nori Akagi. Entitled Harukaze, this piece was inspired by a light spring breeze. We will explore pieces that include the Japanese flute (shinobue), smaller percussion instruments, and also a friendly odaiko battle between several of our members.

I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the other members of the concert organizing committee: Brenda Hanchar, Nori Akagi, and especially to Marty Hilchey, who has been instrumental in coordinating the performance this evening. I would also like to extend my thanks to Yoshiko Shimizu, who began this journey with us before relocating last year.

Kiai is a short yell, or shout, that is commonly expressed in martial arts, as well as taiko. In taiko, we use kiai to release energy to interact, encourage each other and support each other during a performance. During a taiko performance, please feel free to join us in kiai, if you wish to send encouragement out to us, or if you are enjoying what you see and hear!

I sincerely hope that you enjoy tonight’s performance. Thank you for supporting Midnight Taiko in our first full performance!

 

I was pleased with how hard many of the Midnight Taiko members worked to prepare their parts. I was especially impressed with the new Apprentices, who took on many of the backstage duties that are so important to keep the show running smoothly. There were a few challenges along the way (including being stuck at LAX and missing a tech rehearsal!), but all in all it was a positive learning experience for everyone as a performer, and especially for me as a director. Being trusted with so many details and decisions that in the past I had taken for granted, gave me a whole new outlook on the technical side of putting on a production. We covered so much ground during the hours of tech prior to the show, and I learned so much. It was a great teambuilding experience for the group, and everyone really came together to perform such a great event! Bravo everyone!

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