The explosion of beats & colors begins
It is very risky to mount a whole live show centered on one musical instrument. However, during the Travelife Drum Tao Gala Night last July 12 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT), the drums took the spotlight.
Sixteen performers did a colorful and explosive retelling of Japan’s culture using drums of all sizes and forms- from Bongo to Taiko. But if you think this live show, which wowed audiences from almost every corner of the world, are all about drums, clear your thoughts. You will hear a beautiful rendition of Min’yo, a Japanese ballad, done through a flute and a traditional Japanese string instrument, witness dances to clap along, laugh in amusement, and see a stunning choreography, which we’re sure, you had never seen before.
Diplomats from 35 countries were welcomed by Travelife Magazine’s Publisher and Editor in Chief Christine Cunanan during the event which serves as the magazine's 5th anniversary offering. Christine was ecstatic in bringing the show to the country and allowing the Filipinos to witness a world-class entertainment. “From London to New York, to Tokyo and Sydney, it is Travelife’s honor to bring this magnificent show right here in Manila”, she said moments before the 2-hour extravaganza started.
The Drum Tao show is divided into two acts. The first act is composed of eight segments and the second act has seven parts. Different styles and techniques of drumming are showcased in all artistic segments fusing in other traditional Japanese instrumental pieces including the Shinobue (flute), bamboo marimba, gongs and the Koto, a horizontal harp. In between the 15 creative segments are fast transitions including the hilarious audience participation portions.
The worldwide audience of Drum Tao is amazed on the manner of drum beating more than the sound the drumming actually produced. The strenuous physical demands of their performance style are asking the artists to train like athletes. Interestingly, the performers daily work out routine include a 20-kilometer run, calisthenics, martial arts and hours of dance, drum and music practice.
American media outlet Time Out called Drum Tao “powerful, dynamic and unique” while the Chicago Tribune described Tao as having “incomparable muscular zeal”.
Travelife Drum Tao Nights will run at the Newport Performing Arts Theater for 10 shows: 8:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays (July 12, 13, 19 and 20), 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Saturdays (July 14 and 21), and 4:00 pm on Sundays (July 15 and 22). Click here to view ticket prices.
Photos by Ephmari Valenzuela