“Ang galing ’no, anak, ’no?” a mother whispered to her son inside The Theatre at Solaire.
Onstage were the men and women of Drum Tao, a group of Japanese performers who have been delighting audiences all over the world with their magical mix of percussions and movement since 2004.
The group, which is based in Oita, Japan, and began in 1993, has performed at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival in 2004, in an Off-Broadway production in 2016 and has toured in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Germany, Singapore, the Netherlands and more.
Drum Tao took over The Theatre at Solaire from Sept. 5-8. It’s their third time to perform in the country and this time, they staged their show “Rhythm of Tribe, Time Travel Chronicles.”
It was a journey set to the steady beating of the wadaiko (traditional Japanese drums), the pouring rain, the occasional flute accompaniment, martial arts, guttural shouts and no words. And there was no need for words. Drum Tao captivated the audience with their great energy and the universal language of rhythm. There was comedy, too, thanks to the light men who were always a hit.
Drum Tao was a visual and auditory experience, a performance that felt like a party—a party that started and ended with a bang.
And in the end, the audience wouldn’t let them go.
Drummers Nishi Arisa, Tsuru Maika, Suito Yoshinori, Kishino Hiroaki, Era Takuya, Yanaka Hiroyasu, Nakata Shohei, Ikegoshi Hiroyasu, Yamaguchi Tatsunori, Takayama Masanori, Ogino Yasuaki, Harasaki Taro and Hiwano Kodai, wearing costumes by Osaka-born designer Junko Koshino, returned to the stage for another explosion of beats.
Drum Tao has since left the Philippines, taking their brand of rhythm with them. They will hold their Tao Summer Festival in Kuju Oita, Japan, until Sept. 25. In 2020, as the world flocks to Tokyo for the Olympics, they will be performing “Mangekyo” at the Tao Exclusive Theatre every day.