FILIPINO audiences were treated to a series of riveting shows from April 19 to 22 at the concert hall of the Kia Theatre in Cubao, Quezon City, courtesy of Drum Tao.
The ensemble of Taiko drummers brought onstage Japanese entertainment marked with precise movements, moving instrumental compositions, humorous skits and world-class stage production in a 2-hour show.
Drum Tao, the Japanese production of a modern cultural show that mainly featured wadaiko drums, debuted in Manila and Cebu in 2012 that was warmly received by local fans.
Billed as “Samurai Drum Rock,” their comeback performances, which comprised of three evening shows and two matinees, proved to be more dazzling with the addition of dance routines, acrobatic movements and props.
Aside from the waidako of different sizes, they also enthralled the crowd with traditional Japanese stringed musical instruments (shamisen and koto), flutes (shinobue), and gongs.
This year’s cast was made up of 19 performers, mostly new recruits whose first gig out of Japan performance was in Manila.
With lean bodies and ripped muscles, the drum beaters oozed strong masculinity on stage while the female trio (Nishi Arisa, Nakai Saki and Baba Shion) held their own by charming the crowd with powerful drum beats and mesmerizing dance numbers.
A known veteran in designing costumes for operas, the defined lines of Junko Koshino and flowing silhouettes added both traditional and modern touches to the costumes inspired by the samurai (Japanese warriors) culture.
Quite notable also were the projected images as part of the stage design that gave the right visual cues for each performance. The production spared no efforts in bringing the huge sets, enormous drums, and technical equipment that gave local audiences a a world-class act experience.
The Manila cast rounded up their tour by meeting their fans at the official after-party event at the Cove in Okada Manila, Paranaque City.
Established in 1993 by founder Ikuo Fujitaka, Drum Tao is based in Oita Prefecture, Japan. Overall, the ensemble has 39 artists, with three teams performing in their home country and abroad.
The schedule of Drum Tao’s performances in Tokyo and in other countries is available on their official social media accounts and website.