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Portland Taiko: Like a Drum Corps Doing a Ballet

Friday, March 4-Saturday, March 5


According to Japanese mythology, sun goddess Amaterasu had this bratty brother, Susanoo the storm god, and he was stirring up lots of trouble trying to usurp Amaterasu's power. Amaterasu was pretty fed up with her kid brother, so she hid herself and all the light of the world in a cave. Try as they might, the gods couldn't talk Amaterasu out of that cave, and without the sun, the world suffered. Finally they decided to trick Amaterasu by having a big party outside the cave, and had Ame-no-Uzume, goddess of the dawn, dance on a washtub, which created a big boom that lured Amaterasu out and brought light back to the world. That washtub is the mythical origin of Taiko.

Taiko, which translates to "drum" in Japanese, weaves "rhythm, melody, humor and movement together into an exhilarating musical experience," according to Portland Taiko's press release. Portland Taiko formed In 1994, and has since been the premier Taiko group of the Northwest. This weekend Portland Taiko will appear in Boise as part of Boise State Student Union's performance series. In addition to evening shows on Friday and Saturday night, Portland Taiko is offering two workshops. A free workshop is scheduled for Friday, March 4, at 11:45 a.m. focusing on performance and history. The second workshop on Saturday, March 5, at 10 a.m. is a hands-on introduction to the art of Taiko and costs $3 for non-students. Hopefully all the drumming will draw out the sun in Boise and banish this stormy weather.

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