Year Two of Taiko at the MRU Conservatory has seen much growth and development.
Beginner Taiko was probably the largest area of growth. There were two Beginner classes during the Fall Semester, who worked on basic taiko technique, and learned a few entry-level pieces. There was 21 students; a mixture of brand new students and returning students who were repeating the class for a second time. Beginner students performed the Aisatsu song, Isami Goma, Usagi, Raku, and Renshuu.
I have a family who studies privately and also performed Raku! These young ones have made quite an impression an all the taiko students at MRU (we try to keep up with them!).
The Ensemble students focused on movement this semester, and debuted Korekara with their own choreography. Part of the class was working as a group to create arm movement and choreography. We also worked on getting our feet moving and our spatial awareness with movement relative to the taiko. And, of course, “rhythmical foot movement, non-dancing” with the uchiwa dance. Omiyage was such a popular song that we had enough students to run two classes of Omiyage, which also focuses on arm movements, but on a naname-dai (slanted taiko stand). We developed our naname skills and introduced ourselves to creating short solos and improvisation.
Our guest performers came all the way from Lethbridge! Lethbridge Community Taiko Association, let by Marc Vantol, drove up to Calgary specially to perform Ready, Set, Kadon for us. Thank you so much for taking the time to come and perform! We really enjoyed watching you perform and made us look forward to learning RSK in the Winter Semester!
The Nickle Theatre was quite full for the evening, it was so great to see family and friends coming out to support the taiko community! We closed the evening with tejime onstage with our family and friends surrounding us. My favourite part of the evening!
The Winter Semester continues in February, and the final recital of the year is booked for Sunday, June 24 at 2:00 pm. See you there!