Jonathan Kirby’s workshops in Swansea

A very inspiring day was had with Jonathan, founder of Kagemusha Taiko and Lucy also from Kagemusha, who supported him on the day. We learnt some of Jonathan’s philosophy – that we should take taiko and create with it what is authentic for us here. We are not Japanese and we come from a different background, but that doesn’t mean we are not allowed to enjoy taiko as we see fit!

We then had a session of basic technique – stance, arm movements and group playing.screenshot-2016-11-30-22-32-08This is always good for even experienced players. But as we had a few complete beginners, this was even more important.

After lunch we had our children’s session. It was end of half term and only 3 children signed up this time. And they had a go at a short version of ‘Shimabayashi‘ – a song written by Jonathan.

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When the children left after giving us a little concert,  we continued with some more complicated arm movements – here we are, trying to figure out how to put together a diagonal movement in one arm and a circular in the other…

screenshot-2016-11-30-22-51-46We also learnt how to move around the drums – a very liberating concept for us, being used to being very grounded behind a drum.

This was all just what we needed as a group – an injection of new choreography and movement. Jonathan and Lucy made sure we understood everything and were very encouraging of us to take all that we had learnt and incorporate it into our repertoire and drills. We have already managed to practice some of the new moves with our beginner’s class and we definitely feel more confident in our body while playing.screenshot-2016-11-30-22-53-32Thanks Jonathan and Lucy!:-)

And thanks to the Arts council of Wales for funding our project. There was one person who told us he was looking for a way to play taiko for a few years and couldn’t find anything. We are so happy that we succeeded in reaching him. Just goes to show how important advertising can be.

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