Yes, I realize this is my second blog post about Tamagawa Taiko and Dance Performances. But I can’t help it! They’re just so amazing. One of Swarthmore’s most popular events of the year, Tamagawa Taiko and Dance performed last Sunday, commemorating their tenth anniversary.
Although the event actually started at 7:00, people began waiting to enter at 6:00. The auditorium quickly filled up, and I heard that up to 100 people weren’t able to enter! However sad that number may be, it also serves as proof of Tamagawa’s incredible popularity.
Before the show began, Kim Arrow, the director of Swarthmore’s taiko group, made a short speech welcoming the Tamagawa students and introducing their teacher, Isaburoh Hanayagi. Then, the lights dimmed and the show was on!
The Tamagawa drummers opened the show with a loud hit to the ō-daiko. Composed by a 2009 graduate from Tamagawa, the first piece was exciting and invigorating. The dancers were amazing as well – their graceful movements and flawless execution were a pleasure to watch.
Though the entire performance was incredible, certain parts stick out in my mind. One dance which opened with a boisterous girl drinking sake from a bottle provided a lively contrast to the other pieces. I remember talking with my friend afterwards – “even though she’s supposed to be drunk, she still dances better than I do!” Another drumming piece featured loud whistles and exciting movements. In the middle of the piece, one drummer even picked up the ō-daiko drummer and spun him around!
After the performance ended, the dancers and drummers ran up the steps and to the entrance of the Lang Concert Hall and politely thanked the audience for coming. All in all, the performance was stunning and I look forward to seeing them again at the Cherry Blossom Festival!