The Beauty of 8 featuring TWO international stars: CHIEKO KOJIMA and RILEY LEE

Author: Taikoz

Date: Mon 22 Jul 2019


We are thrilled to see Chieko Kojima return to Australia and join us on stage for The Beauty Of 8 in Sydney (27/7), Newcastle (26/7), Canberra (25/7), Penrith (20/7) and Port Macquarie (19/7). This production was conceived with Chieko and our own Riley Lee’s talents in mind, both of whom bring a depth of expression that can only be achieved after years of thought, practice and life experience. Here’s how we brought them together for The Beauty Of 8…

As a member of Japan’s world-renowned KODO ensemble, Chieko regularly tours the world, performing in famous concert halls and collaborating with a wide range of artists. Riley – shakuhachi Grand Master (and Taikoz co-founder) – also tours the world giving concerts and teaching at the highest levels, including as Visiting Professor at Princeton University. But it all began in the 1970s, when Chieko and Riley were both members of the now-legendary taiko group Ondekoza – the precursor to KODO – and appeared together on many of the world’s great theatre and concert hall stages. And now here we are – some 40 years later – looking forward to hearing-seeing-feeling the results of these two consummate artists working together again!

In fact, it was Riley (pictured) who introduced Taikoz to Chieko back in 2009 when we collaborated with members of KODO. From the first rehearsal I just loved Chieko’s – what’s the best word? – alive-ness! Her spontaneity, creativity and sheer love of play seems to infect all who come into her orbit. And I must say it was an absolute thrill to have the opportunity to frame The Beauty Of 8 around Chieko’s skills and to (try and) capture her unique spirit. Our title, The Beauty Of 8, refers to the mesmerising shapes and movements that are synonymous with Chieko’s Onna-uchi (women’s side-on) style of taiko playing. As a performer, Chieko is the very embodiment of flow, roundness, grace and power, and it was words and images such as these that were the catalyst from which the program grew. But as Chieko and I talked more, a mutual love of words invited the idea of poetry more directly informing the shape and development of the program.

In fact, three poems feature in the program, giving it a sense of line and inevitability: three stanzas of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses, an epic poem that speaks of the desire to explore new frontiers, to live life to the full and to meet new challenges, even at an advanced age; These Tested Our Horizon, a short Emily Dickinson poem that evokes a sense of journeying forth, of expansiveness, but with an underlying feeling of uncertainty and melancholy; and a tanka by Bokusui Wakayama that evokes the image of a bird taking flight and ‘melting’ into the horizon.

And I think our PR ‘blurb’ is actually pretty accurate: “The Beauty Of 8 shines a light on Chieko’s powerful, mesmerising Beauty of Figure-Of-Eight taiko-drumming – is it dance, is it drumming? Coupled with Taikoz’s explosive taiko-drums, Riley’s sublime shakuhachi, Anton’s uber-rhythmic percussion vocals, and a cinematic electronica score by John Cleworth, The Beauty Of 8 is an irresistible combination that makes for a truly unique theatrical experience.” 

(Ian Cleworth | Taikoz Artistic Director)

The Beauty Of 8 Sydney performance | JULY 27 | 8:00pm| NIDA Parade Theatre |

Bookings | www.taikoz.com/whats-on/the-beauty-of-8-five-city-tour


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10 Dec to 11 Dec 2021

SIDE BY SIDE Tickets On Sale again!

We've been able to secure new dates at the ARA Darling Quarter Theatre for Side By Side, which was...

The Beauty of 8 featuring TWO international stars: CHIEKO KOJIMA and RILEY LEE

Author: Taikoz

Date: Mon 22 Jul 2019


We are thrilled to see Chieko Kojima return to Australia and join us on stage for The Beauty Of 8 in Sydney (27/7), Newcastle (26/7), Canberra (25/7), Penrith (20/7) and Port Macquarie (19/7). This production was conceived with Chieko and our own Riley Lee’s talents in mind, both of whom bring a depth of expression that can only be achieved after years of thought, practice and life experience. Here’s how we brought them together for The Beauty Of 8…

As a member of Japan’s world-renowned KODO ensemble, Chieko regularly tours the world, performing in famous concert halls and collaborating with a wide range of artists. Riley – shakuhachi Grand Master (and Taikoz co-founder) – also tours the world giving concerts and teaching at the highest levels, including as Visiting Professor at Princeton University. But it all began in the 1970s, when Chieko and Riley were both members of the now-legendary taiko group Ondekoza – the precursor to KODO – and appeared together on many of the world’s great theatre and concert hall stages. And now here we are – some 40 years later – looking forward to hearing-seeing-feeling the results of these two consummate artists working together again!

In fact, it was Riley (pictured) who introduced Taikoz to Chieko back in 2009 when we collaborated with members of KODO. From the first rehearsal I just loved Chieko’s – what’s the best word? – alive-ness! Her spontaneity, creativity and sheer love of play seems to infect all who come into her orbit. And I must say it was an absolute thrill to have the opportunity to frame The Beauty Of 8 around Chieko’s skills and to (try and) capture her unique spirit. Our title, The Beauty Of 8, refers to the mesmerising shapes and movements that are synonymous with Chieko’s Onna-uchi (women’s side-on) style of taiko playing. As a performer, Chieko is the very embodiment of flow, roundness, grace and power, and it was words and images such as these that were the catalyst from which the program grew. But as Chieko and I talked more, a mutual love of words invited the idea of poetry more directly informing the shape and development of the program.

In fact, three poems feature in the program, giving it a sense of line and inevitability: three stanzas of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses, an epic poem that speaks of the desire to explore new frontiers, to live life to the full and to meet new challenges, even at an advanced age; These Tested Our Horizon, a short Emily Dickinson poem that evokes a sense of journeying forth, of expansiveness, but with an underlying feeling of uncertainty and melancholy; and a tanka by Bokusui Wakayama that evokes the image of a bird taking flight and ‘melting’ into the horizon.

And I think our PR ‘blurb’ is actually pretty accurate: “The Beauty Of 8 shines a light on Chieko’s powerful, mesmerising Beauty of Figure-Of-Eight taiko-drumming – is it dance, is it drumming? Coupled with Taikoz’s explosive taiko-drums, Riley’s sublime shakuhachi, Anton’s uber-rhythmic percussion vocals, and a cinematic electronica score by John Cleworth, The Beauty Of 8 is an irresistible combination that makes for a truly unique theatrical experience.” 

(Ian Cleworth | Taikoz Artistic Director)

The Beauty Of 8 Sydney performance | JULY 27 | 8:00pm| NIDA Parade Theatre |

Bookings | www.taikoz.com/whats-on/the-beauty-of-8-five-city-tour


    ...

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