THE SAMURAI OF THE DRUM
TAO was established in 1993 in Aichi prefecture, Japan, with the goal of entertaining the world. In 1995, to pursue an even deeper creative environment, TAO moved to the Kuju area of Taketa city, Oita prefecture, Kyushu Island – the site of the legendary Aso Kuju National Park. Based in Kuju, TAO began the creation of a distinct world of its own, through original theater arts, costumes and more. A production office was established in Kuju to run shows both inside and outside of Japan, as well as market, design and produce video.
Athletic bodies, explosive percussion and eternal ritual – that is TAO. After its success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004, these drummers ceased to be a secret. Tickets sold out in all their shows, more than a million spectators and excellent reviews speak for themselves.
With extraordinary precision, energy and vigor, they play their huge drums. It requires not only a sense of rythm but a total physical commitment.
Wadaiko drums have a diameter of 1.7 meters, and the largest weigh over 400 kilos. The sound that the artists invoke with their instruments penetrates directly into the heart of the listener. Their performance is a blend of meditative rhythm, dynamical musical war and a meticulously synchronized choreography.
Throughout its history, Japan has presented us with many cultural and spiritual treasures, and one of them is the Wadaiko.
THE NEW ART OR WADAIKO
TAO performances magnify the traditional image that the word "Wadaiko" usually invokes in the minds of people in Japan and abroad. Rather than attempt to publicize the traditional Japanese art, TAO aims to produce a modern show. From its birth as a group 13 years ago, TAO has always worked to create a new representation, previously unprecedented in the world of Wadaiko.
TAO's name, written with a single Chinese character means "way" or "path”. The group has come to boldly explore new paths. The way of the future is now open to Wadaiko TAO.