Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers
Document (Live) DVD
Reviewed by Nicole Warren
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers are the UK's longest established Taiko ensemble, and Europe's only professional touring company of this thrilling and energetic performing art. With over 1,000 performances across the UK, Japan and Europe over the last decade.
Passion, entrancing and epic are the first words that come to mind when I think of the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers. It needs to be said that these Taiko drummers should ALWAYS be seen live. However, if you find yourself missing them between their tours, their new DVD – Document (Live) is a good reminder of their show.
The DVD is from their performance in 2012 at Glasgow King’s Theatre and certainly doesn’t disappoint! It comprises of 13 song performances and is visually stunning. Beautiful outfits, dramatic lighting and fantastically co-ordinated choreography with military precision draws you into watching the performers.
The actual drumming, although has a limited range of notes, has an endless array of drumming patterns and creates fantastic tension from a slow start, especially in “Belenos”. The Mugenkyo Taiko drummers also utilise some other instruments, from small hand-held drums to the Odaiko big drum, delicate bamboo flute and even some singing! I particularly enjoyed the large group numbers, “Todoroki” and “Yati Bayashi” as many of the powerful rhythms weave in and out of the main focus and the choreography is stunning. I often found myself glued to the screen watching, as if the drums had a hypnotic effect.
The Mugenko Taiko Drummers DVD's and other information can be found at: www.taiko.co.uk and are performing at Assembly George Square 1st-26th August at this year’s Fringe Festival.