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If It’s Too Loud ... 

Wednesday, Nov 3 2010
Probably the last place you want to be on Saturday morning with a hangover, the International Taiko Festival is still worth rousing yourself from bed and downing a couple Bloody Marys for. The tribute to thunderous Japanese drumming presented by the San Francisco Taiko Dojo brings together some of the most accomplished and imposing drummers from around the globe. The festival features performances by Japan's Osuwa Daiko, Sacramento Taiko Dan, Kaminari Taiko of Houston, Mui + the GRRRL Brigade, and the San Francisco Taiko Dojo Rising Stars. Founded by choreographer Krissy Keefer of the Wallflower Order and the Revolutionary Nutcracker Sweetie, Mui + the GRRRL Brigade comprise a feminist taiko-and-dance outfit that explores women’s issues through intense traditional drumming and synchronized dance. Keefer is joined by choreographer Tina Banchero, Cuban-born dancer Ramón Ramos Alayo, and Bruce "Mui" Ghent, a Taiko master with a deafening command of the drums. But the marquee star is Osuwa Daiko, formed by late Grand Master Daihachi Oguchi, whose jazz background led him to innovate the now-common multidrummer ensemble. What now seems fairly standard — intricate rhythms woven together by multiple drummers — was an Oguchi creation that transformed Taiko. His legacy carries on with Osuwa Daiko as well as many of the performers at the festival, ensuring a brain-rattling, yet exhilarating, show of rhythmic martial arts.
Sat., Nov. 6, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 7, 3 p.m., 2010

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Paul M. Davis


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